Is Westbrook Really Washed This Season?

Entering his 13th season, Russell Westbrook was traded to the Washington Wizards to pair alongside 3x all star shooting guard Bradley Beal. When Westbrook came into Washington, his job was to fill John Wall’s shoes. The NBA media and a lot of fans doubted Westbrook had any mileage left on his athletic legs but the former UCLA point guard was destined to prove the haters wrong.

Westbrook has achieved many accolades in his career. He was the point guard to an Oklahoma City Thunder team in 2011-2012 that went to the NBA Finals vs Lebron James and the Miami Heat. After Kevin Durant departed the OKC Thunder, Westbrook went on to achieve some individual success. He won his only MVP in 2017 and was a 2x scoring champion (2015, 2017) and 2x assist leader (2018 and 2019).

Westbrook is also familiar with being in the All-NBA teams. He was on the 1st team two times in 2016 and 2017. He was on the 2nd team five times in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018. Westbrook was also awarded the 3rd time 2019 and 2020. He is looking to make the All-NBA team this year in 2021 after putting up an incredible stat filled year.

This year in Washington, Westbrook averages 22 points, 11.6 rebounds and 11.5 assists playing in 61 games while trying to push the Wizards into the playoffs. He leads the league with 700 assists, which is 105 over Chris Paul who sits at second place with 595. He also averages the most assists per game with 11.5. Trae Young of the Atlanta Hawks is in second place with 9.5 per game. The assists numbers translates as productivity on the court as his shooting guard, Bradley Beal is 2nd in the scoring title race. Beal is averaging 31.4 points per game and trailing Steph Curry by 59 points for the title.

Westbrook has shown throughout this season that even if being an NBA Champion isn’t an ideal possibility with the roster in Washington, he is going to go all out every single night. He’s has 3 games scoring over 40+ points, 2 games with over 20 assists and 11 games with 15+ assists. To top it off with only being 6’3″ he has had 2 games with over 20 rebounds and 13 games with over 15+ rebounds.

Here are some of Westbrooks best games in a Wizards uniform this year.

January 31st vs Nets- 41 points, 10 rebounds, 8 assists

February 22 @ Lakers- 32 points, 14 rebounds, 9 assists

March 13 vs Bucks- 42 points, 10 assists, 12 rebounds

March 18th vs Jazz- 35 points, 15 rebounds, 13 assists

March 21st vs Nets- 29 points, 13 rebounds, 13 assists

March 27th vs Pistons- 19 points, 19 rebounds, 10 assists

March 29th vs Pacers- 35 points, 14 rebounds, 21 assists

April 16th vs Pelicans- 36 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists

April 23rd @ Thunder- 37 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists

April 28th vs Lakers- 18 points, 18 rebounds, 14 assists

May 1st @ Mavericks- 42 points, 10 assists, 9 rebounds

May 3rd vs Pacers- 14 points, 21 rebounds, 21 assists

May 8th @ Pacers- 33 points, 19 rebounds, 15 assists

April was a scorching hot month for the 12 year veteran averaging 21 points, 13.9 rebounds and 11.9 assists. In the 17 games in April, the Wizards went 12-5 with Westbrook with 14 triple doubles. That stat has broken an NBA record for most triple doubles in one calendar month.

Westbrook was also just named Eastern Conference Player of the Week in May by averaging 22.3 points, 17.3 rebounds, and 18.3 assists while leading the Wizards to a 3-1 record in this past week. He had a huge game on May 8th while also tying Oscar Robertsons all time triple double record at 181. Westbrook looks to break that record tonight against the Atlanta Hawks.

Russell Westbrook is creeping in the history books looking to record his 182 triple double, making him the all time leader in that statistical category. He also just surpassed Rod Strickland to be 12th on the all time assist leader list with 7,998 and looking to be a part of the 8,000+ assist club tonight.

In all reality, Westbrook will never be the No. 1 option for a championship club and probably will never be a champion. With that being said, for NBA fans and the media, after seeing #4 from DC this year just ball out. Is Russell Westbrook really washed?

Find Your Rose

There was this girl, her name is Rose.

Rose worked during the summer time in a Cafe.

One day Rose met a guy named Chris.

Chris was dealing with a lot at times and some would say he comes with a lot of baggage.

Little did Chris know, a person like Rose would make that baggage feel less heavy at times.

Chris saw Rose for the first time and it felt like the movies where the moment paused and everything stood still.

As Rose looked at Chris, a connection instantly sparked.

Chris had a thousand things running through his head, wanting to say something that would start a conversation between them two.

Chris froze, stuck in the moment.

To people to know Chris, he comes off as a very funny and outgoing individual that isn’t afraid to be friends with a stranger.

Rose didn’t know this side of Chris and thought he was a shy kid afraid to speak.

He was shy but only to her.

Chris never was like this to any one else he met. He knew something was different.

Rose is different than everyone else, Chris knew it as soon as he saw her for the first time.

She would be different than everyone else to him.

Chris thought Rose was beautiful.

The bright yellow shirt would light up a room followed by her dark brown eyes and a smile that could kill someone.

Nothing has ever been perfect, but there are somethings that are pretty close to it.

Rose looked perfect that day.

If you look perfect, everyone expects you to act perfect and nothing less.

When someone can make you feel warm and bring the best side out of you, that is as perfect as they come.

Little did Chris know that Rose was the hardest working person in the world.

She had a sense of humor that matched Chris to a T and she’s the sweetest thing next to a Apple Pie made by Grandma.

Rose is just what Chris needed at that point in Chris’s life.

He was lonely and dealt with personal problems but Rose made all of those problems go away.

Chris didn’t know what to do with his life but he knew one thing.

Knowing Rose for a couple weeks that he had a friend.

After nights of getting ice cream after Rose got done with work, they would talk on the phone for hours.

Phone calls turned into laughs and laughs turned into conversations that only those two talked about.

Chris’s love for Rose was deep and he wanted to take their relationship to the next level.

Rose wasn’t ready for that due to heartbreak in her past.

Those long nights turned into more fights and they went their separate ways.

Chris didn’t think he lost a lot because he had everything else in his life going great.

Rose gave Chris the confidence and the love that he was missing.

He used that to bond with friends and he didn’t have that loneliness anymore.

After a period of time with no communication, Rose and Chris found each other again.

They didn’t know what they still meant to each other.

Chris was in a good spot in his life and Rose looked like she was thriving in hers.

After some more fights, a lot of phone calls and more laughs, Chris and Rose are at a good spot right now.

Chris is just waiting for Rose to open the door and let Chris love her unconditionally.

I’m still looking for my Rose. I don’t know if I will ever find her.

Some days I think I will never find my Rose.

Other days I feel like I already found my Rose.

I know who my Rose is.

I don’t know if there is another Chris waiting for her.

Maybe I am her Chris.

I know she is the Rose for me.

Do you think you will ever find your Rose?

Kyrie Irving Is Back and Better Than Ever

Kyrie Irving, a former champion who is known as one of the game’s best dribblers and scorers in the league, is killing it on the court right now. After a rough January for his personal life, he decided to step away from the Brooklynn Nets and focus on himself. Since rejoining the team, he has averaged over 30 points a game and Nets have had the best offensive rating in the NBA.

The heat Kyrie took from the press is unbelievable. For someone who is out with “personal reasons” that many believe have ties to him being upset about the storming of the Capitol, it’s almost sickening how many people threw dirt on Kyrie’s name. Stephen A. Smith said on air that Kyrie owes an explanation for the public and the fans, not just his teammates. Charles Barkley referred to him as “ditching his team” and many other sports personality’s called for Kyrie to retire from the game. ESPN’s Kendrick Perkins took some shots at the situation and Kyrie’s teammate KD responded by calling Perkins a “sell out”.

On January 5th the Nets demolished the Utah Jazz by a score of 130-96 behind Kyrie’s 29 points of his own. Little did anyone know that Kyrie was about to be the most confusing player in the NBA and he doesn’t need to explain to anyone. Kyrie then missed out on 6 Nets games from January 7th-January 18th, due to personal reasons and COVID-19 protocol due to being away from the team. While Kyrie was away from the team, the Nets decided to shake the team up a little bit by trading for former MVP James Harden, who now leads the league in assists with a little over 11 a game.

The amount of support Kyrie received was actually very good. His teammate Kevin Durant said that the Brooklyn Nets “support Kyrie 100 percent” and coach Steve Nash said they talked regularly during his absence. Kyrie went on air in an interview and said his issues are personal and that his teammates got an explanation. He did not give one out to the public and rightfully so said he didn’t feel the need to explain anything to anyone outside of his friends, family, and the Brooklyn Nets organization.

Irving and Durant have made their case to be one of the NBA’s best duos before Harden

Irving is putting up an All-NBA year by averaging 27.5 points and over 5 assists a game. Shooting the ball at a 53% from the field and 43% from beyond the arc, he has clearly put the league on notice. The Brooklyn Nets are 5-2 in their last 7 games and Kyrie has scored 37, 38, and 39 points in 3 of his 9 games back. Kyrie has solidified that he is back on his level he was during his All-NBA years and is playing like a top 10 player in the league. Next to black mask Kyrie and untucked jersey Kyrie, I haven’t seen a better version of #11 in black and white. The Nets have their eyes on the NBA Finals if this Big 3 keeps it up. Uncle Drew is back!

Harden Traded to Nets in a 4 Team Blockbuster Trade that Sends Oladipo and 1st Round Picks to Houston

James Harden has had trade rumors about him going around all year. With Houston trading Westbrook last summer, Rockets were unsure of their future with their All NBA shooting guard. Harden started out the season wrong with his first three games averaging 37 points. The last 5 games he only averaged 17 points and it seemed like his tenure in Houston was coming to an end.

Some of the teams that were interested in trading for Harden but didn’t were the Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Philadelphia 76ers offered a package centered around Ben Simmons, a young All Star guard in the league.

It was reported by Brian Robb of Boston Sports Journal that the Celtics declined the Rockets trade offer to send Harden to the Celtics. Houston was asking Danny Ainge, General Manager of the Celtics, to send Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, and multiple 1st-round picks for a package including Harden.

James Harden will now be joining Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn and compete to represent the East in the Finals this year. The Nets gave up a heavy load to acquire the three time scoring champ from the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. The trade with Houston and Brooklyn also involved Indiana and Cleveland to make it a 4 team blockbuster trade.

Houston Rockets: Victor Oladipo, Dante Exum, Rodionus Kurucs, 3 BKN 1st-rounders (22, 24, 26), 1 MIL 1st-rounder (22, unprotected), 4 BKN 1st-round swaps (21, 23, 25, 27)

Brooklyn Nets: James Harden

Indiana Pacers: Carias LeVert, 2nd-rounder

Cleveland Cavaliers: Jarrett Allen, Taurean Prince

Brooklyn got the best player in the deal in Harden who is a former MVP. Alongside Irving and Durant, Harden will be a handful for any team to guard. The Houston Rockets are the real winners of this trade in my opinion. They shipped out a player on the team who didn’t want to make it work in Harden. Acquiring Oladipo gives them an All Star player and 4 1st-round picks for the future. Cavaliers traded for Jarrett Allen and plan to try to sign him to a long term deal seeing that Andre Drummond is on a 1 year deal. Cleveland shipped out next to nothing to steal the young and growing big man in Allen. Indiana swaps Oladipo and gets a young scoring star who might thrive on his own team in LeVert.

A lot of familiar faces in new places for the rest of the 2021 season. Will the three stars work out in Brooklyn? Will Houston be better without Harden and getting away from iso ball? Will LeVert strive as a player on his own team? We will figure out these questions at the end of this season.

Who will be the 2021 NBA MVP?

The first couple weeks of the 2021 NBA Season has concluded and teams are anywhere from 5 to 7 games in already. Some players have been preforming beyond their potential and some players aren’t playing like themselves. The stars in the league have already looked ahead about resting and sitting back to back games and some players have already done that. Kawhi Lenoard and Kyrie Irving are some stars that have decided to sit games early in the season and that is why I don’t think they will be the MVP talk this year. I believe these 5 young stars of the league will be in competition with themselves to put up big numbers for their team in order to win a Most Valuable Player award this year.

#5 Jayson Tatum

Tatum is the biggest underdog on this list but I think this is an impossible task. The Boston Celtics have a great surrounding cast with Walker and Brown to help Tatum play like a Superstar in this league. After losing to the Miami Heat in the bubble last year, Jayson Tatum has already seemed to take his game to another level. Last year, Tatum’s 3rd NBA season, he averaged 24.3 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists while shooting 45% from the field. Appearing in his first All Star game last year, he also made the ALL-NBA 3rd team joining the biggest names in the game. He was joined by Russell Westbrook, Jimmy Butler, Rudy Gobert, and Ben Simmons. After finishing 12th last year in the MVP race, I think Tatum can make a huge leap in the MVP race after already averaging 25 points, 8.7 rebounds, and 3 assists in the 3 games played in the new season. If the Celtics can finish one of the top 3 seeds in the East which I expect, I wouldn’t be surprised if Tatum is a name in that discussion for this award.

#4 Kevin Durant

After Durant tore his Achilles playing in the 2019 NBA Finals vs the Raptors, he missed the whole 2019-2020 season after signing with the Brooklyn Nets who acquired Kyrie Irving also. Two players who have superstar talent, they both can feed off each other and are picked as the favorites to win the East this season. Durant is looked as a top 3 player in the league, just the question is that is he enough to win a championship on a team where he isn’t alongside 3 All Star players. Durant is a 1x MVP and a 2x Champion with 2 NBA Finals MVPs so awards and recognition isn’t new to Durant. With the 3 games he has played this year, he has averaged 26.7 points, 4.4 points, and 3 assists. If he keeps playing and posting numbers like these, there is no reason why Durant shouldn’t win his second MVP trophy.

#3 Anthony Davis

AD is now an NBA Champion after getting traded to the the Lakers this previous season and playing with the best player in the league in LeBron James. He averaged 26 points, 9 rebounds, and dished out 3 assists while making the All NBA 1st team along with his superstar teammate. Davis has made his case for being a top 5 player in the league and I believe he was top 5 in the MVP race last season. If the Lakers repeat as champions I don’t see why Davis cannot win this individual award and maybe even win Defensive Player of the Year averaging 2.5 blocks last year and 1.5 steals. The sky is the limit for Davis and the better duo that plays in Staples Center.

#2 Giannis Antetokounmpo

Ever since the 2016-2017 season, The Greek Freak has won all the individual awards you can win. The Milwaukee Bucks superstar is looking to build a team to win a championship. Giannis in the past 2 seasons has won 2 MVP awards and the DPOY award last year. He also has been named on 4 All NBA teams and 3 All Defensive teams in the past 4 seasons. With the 6’11 Forward signing a 5 year/ $282.2 million dollar deal to stay with the Bucks, he is probably looking for a ring before his 3rd MVP trophy. With his talent I wouldn’t be shocked if it is awarded to him for a 3rd season in a row.

Honorable Mention:

Here are some names that just missed the Top 5 due to reasons like they might not be developed yet to be in the Most Valuable Player talk or simply I don’t think they are good enough at this moment to win this award. Another reason some players won’t win this award is because their team isn’t good enough to get them to be in those MVP talks. Some players that just missed this article are Bradley Beal, Trae Young, LeBron James, James Harden, Dame Lillard, Joel Embiid, and Nikola Jokic.

#1 Luka Dončić

Entering his 3rd season in the NBA, Dončić has made himself a household name and is emerging as a superstar in this league. In his second season he was averaging 29/9/9 along with racking up 17 triple doubles and leading the Dallas Mavericks to the 7th seed in the West. Luka also won Rookie of the Year in the 2018-2019 season and was named All NBA 1st Team this past season. Even if the Slovenia Native doesn’t have a good enough team to fight for a championship, I can see an MVP Trophy in the near future.

Respect the Specs

Rodrigo Blankenship was just an inexpensive Free Agent signing for the Indianapolis Colts starting his rookie year. Blankenship was not one of the 7 Georgia Bulldogs selected in the 2020 NFL Draft. With the Colts losing their all-time great kicker Adam Vinatieri, it means there are some big shoes to fill in Indy. Vinatieri, the all-time leading scorer in the NFL with 2,673 points scored and 599 field goals made, has himself a first ballot Hall of Famer. The Colts surely didn’t think they would find a replacement for the 4 time Super Bowl Champion so soon but Indianapolis might be in for a surprise!

Blankenship grew up being a soccer player but started kicking footballs at the age of 10 years old. When he got to high school he was ranked the 9th best kicker in the country according to 247sports.com. He also played in the 2014-2015 Army All-American Bowl for the best high school football players in the country. He participated in the Cobb Senior Bowl and got many other accolades during his senior season in the fall of 2014. Blankenship was named Reigon 7 AAAA first team kicker and punter. He also earned the title of being on the first team All American to Prokicker.com. He finished his high school career with 142 extra points, 35 field goals, which is a total of 247 points that Rodrigo is responsible for during his freshman year at Walton and 3 years at Sprayberry High School.

February 4th, 2015, Rodrigo Blankenship signed his letter of intent to attend University of Georgia and walk on to be a part of their football team by being their kicker. Blankenship visited Mississippi State Bulldogs also but being from Marietta, Georgia, it just sounded too sweet that Rodrigo’s home was only 34 minutes away. The Georgia native redshirted his freshman year but had a very successful college career being a Bulldog in the SEC. Rodrigo lead the SEC his junior year in extra point attempts and conversions and in his senior year he lead the SEC in Field Goal attempts and conversions. He ended scoring 440 points in 4 years at Georgia. Blankenship went 200/200 on extra point attempts in college and 80/97 in 53 games played, finishing with an 82.5% field goal percentage. He ended up being named the All-SEC second team.

The Colts signed Rodrigo Blankenship on April 29th, 2020, as one of the 10 free agents that were not selected in the draft. His first game he was the starting kicker when they lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20. Blankenship did have a very good rookie debut going 2/2 on extra points and 2/3 on field goals. Through 10 games played in the blue and white, Rodrigo is 23/26 on field goals and 25/27 on extra points. He has an impressive stat where he is 8/9 on 40-49 yard field goal attempts and is responsible for 94 points, which is tied for 2nd most in the league. Indianapolis is currently 7-3 and tied for 1st place in the AFC South Division.

Rodrigo Blankenship has became a household name referred to as “Hot Rod” through Bulldog nation. Being called “Hot Rod” was pushed on him from his mom his sophomore year of high school, but the fans really caught on to it his senior year. After hitting the game winner as one of his four field goals against Kentucky, he became the man on campus getting interviews after games and giving the Rec Specs the national attention. Ever since tweeting out a picture of himself and Quavo from the Migos, the hashtag #RespectTheSpecs got the media attention it deserves. After the game winner against Green Bay on Sunday, I hope Blankenship can hang around the NFL so we can look forward to seeing the Specs every Sunday!

Morse Motivates Cougars to Take a Share of the FC Title

The rivalry of the Crestview Cougars vs Plymouth Big Red hasn’t been so much of a rivalry. Ever since 1983, when my mom was a sophomore at Crestview High School, Crestview has owned the rivalry with a record of 30-7 against Plymouth. Coming off of a blowout against South Central behind Kuhn and Hamilton’s record breaking performance, an unsung hero showed up at Plymouth on Friday Night.

The Crestview offense is one of the most balanced high school offenses I have seen in a long time. The big names behind their 5-1 season are Ross Kuhn, Chase Shifflet, and Evan Hamilton who just broke the receiving touchdowns record for a game with 4 against South Central last Friday. Ross Kuhn also decided to put his name in the record books that night, beating his dad to give him the single game passing touchdown record of 5.

Coach Steve Haverdill has praised Offensive Coordinator Coach Keener for balancing the run and pass game so much that teams can’t prepare for what the Cougars have in store on the offensive side of the ball. A player that showed up for the Cougar win on Friday vs Plymouth 33-12 was Connor Morse.

Chase Shifflet carries the ball

Connor Morse lead the scoring way for the Cougars averaging a touchdown every 2 carries. Morse ended with 36 yards and 3 touchdowns running the ball 6 times. The junior running back said it “definitely felt nice” being the guy Haverdill called for on the goal line situations.

Outside of the one fumble by #10 Ross Kuhn with 49 seconds left in the 1st half, Cougars were all business when they had the possession of the ball. Kuhn finished 8-13 for 107 yards while rushing for 80 yards. Shifflet helped Morse on the ground game by carrying the ball 23 times for 142 yards, averaging an impressive 6.1 yards a run.

Crestview ends the regular season as 5-1 sharing a piece of the Firelands Conference title with the 5-1 St. Paul Flyers and 5-1 Monroeville Eagles, who received their first loss Friday. The Cougars will host Evergreen High School on October 1st for the 1st round of the OHSAA playoffs.

Caiden Allen opens the game up with a huge momentum swinging reception

For the Plymouth Big Red, turnovers were a big part on why their offense never got the ball rolling. Instead the ball was literally rolling on the ground Friday Night as they fumbled the ball 2 times.

On their opening possession after a momentum leading pass from Luke Hamman to Caiden Allen. The next play on that drive Shae Sparks fumbled the ball attempting to get a first down. Plymouth was just 9 yards away from being the first team to get points on the board. Crestview answered that turnover with Morse’s first touchdown run of the game. Plymouth then threw a pick 6 on their next possession as Evan Hamilton returned it for 58 yards and Crestview leads the game 13-0.

Plymouth’s Coach Mark Genders said “the last 3 games I feel like we have been starting down 13-0 and we can’t let that happen.” Clayton Miller fumbled the ball late in the 4th quarter but at that time it was too late for Plymouth to make a comeback.

Plymouth tallied 277 total yards with 172 rushing yards, sharing the carries amongst 6 Vikings with sophomore Shae Sparks leading the way with 90 yards on 12 carries. Plymouth falls to 3-3 but holds the 13 seed and will host their first playoff game against David Anderson High School on October 9th.

Photo credits to Jake Furr

NFL Week 4 Pick ‘Em

I realize that I am couple weeks behind from doing weekly football picks but this will be a new weekly thing. Every week I will give you my NFL picks with their lines and my “LOCK” on the week for my fans that are sports betters. Even though I missed TNF this week for the article, I picked the Broncos +1.

1pm Games

Indianapolis Colts (-2.5) @ Chicago Bears

Even though the Bears being 3-0, this will be Nick Foles first start of the year and I’m not sold that Coach Naggy is that confident in the quarterback change yet. Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Cincinnati Bengals (-3)

Joe Burrow will have his first break out game this year against a very weak Jaguars defense. Plus Jaguars are not looking good this year. Bengals

Cleveland Browns(+4.5) @ Dallas Cowboys

Baker Mayfield has been playing solid so far and I expect him to continue that streak. I had Cowboys being a real threat to the NFL but after starting 1-2, they’ll have to prove to me that they truly are winners. Browns

New Orlean Saints (-4) @ Detroit Lions

Drew Brees coming off of a loss last week isn’t looking to make it two in a row, especially against a beatable Lions team. Saints

Seattle Seahawks (-6.5) @ Miami Dolphins

LOCK OF THE WEEK. Wilson is playing at an MVP level this early in the season, I expect this game to be a 25 point blowout. Seahawks

LA Chargers vs Tampa Bay (-7)

With Brady finally starting to click and the Tampa offense heading in the right direction. The hangers defense is definitely going to have their hands full Sunday. Tampa

Arizona Cardinals(-3.5) @ Carolina Panthers

Kyler Murray had a rough Week 3 and is looking for a bounce back game. Teddy Bridgewater for the Panthers will prevent a blowout but Cardinals will keep the lead steady all game. Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens (-14) @ Washington Football Team

After the Monday Night fiasco against the Chiefs, Lamar is going to remind everyone who the reigning MVP really is. Ravens win by 30+ against a injured Washington defense. Ravens

Minnesota Vikings (+3.5) @ Houston Texans

The Battle of 0-3’s, one team will secure their first win of this season. I like Deshaun Watson more than Kirk Cousins but I believe Vikings weapons Thielen and Dalvin Cook will be too much for Texans D to handle. Vikings

4pm Games

New York Giants @ LA Rams (-13.5)

The line is intimidating but Goff is a very good quarterback in this league and will get the job done. New York Giants are just hoping Danny Dimes be productive someway. Rams

Buffalo Bills (-3.5) @ Las Vegas Raiders

This was almost my lock of the week. Buffalo Bills behind Josh Allen are playing like the best team in the NFL and are as hot as ever. If their defense can keep preforming, the Bills can ride this win streak a few more games into their schedule. Bills

New England Patriots @ KC Chiefs (-7)

Cam Newton has found his 2nd wind in his career and is playing like a top 10 quarterback in the league. I just can’t go against Mahomes and the Chiefs offense after what they did to a very good Ravens defense. Chiefs

Sunday Night Football

Philedelphia Eagles (+7) @ SF 49ers

The Eagles have underperformed this year and so has Carson Wentz. I think they handle a very banged up 49ers team on Sunday Night and try to get back into the race for the NFC East. Eagles

Monday Night Football

Atlanta Falcons @ Green Bay Packers (-7)

Atlanta Falcons need to figure things out this season but I don’t this week will be when they do. The Packers are my early pick to win the NFC and go to the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers is showing that he is still a top 3 quarterback in this league and that no one wants to be on the opposite side of the field of that offense. Packers

Lakers looking for their 17th Championship Title

The Los Angeles Lakers are just a team full of misfits lead by Lebron James and Anthony Davis, two of the league’s top 5 players. Even when the spotlight was on them all year long, they still had to compete with their Staple Center rivals the LA Clippers. With Kawhi Leonard and Paul George leaving the bubble by blowing a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets, I don’t see Lebron and company even being challenged these next two series. Winning another NBA Title would put Lebron on a pedestal higher than he already was. Let’s just look at the additions the Lakers needed, to be the 1 seed that Magic Johnson had envisioned when he signed Lebron on July 1st, 2018.

When the Lakers sent Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three 1st round picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for the NBA’s best big man Anthony Davis, everybody knew that LA was in full championship mode and Lebron was destined for his fourth ring. After that trade the spotlight and standards have been raised on the NBA’s best team and they haven’t let up the expectations. Even though Lebron is the best player that we have laid our eyes on to touch a basketball and AD, The Brow, is a once in a generation big man, they didn’t do this by themselves.

You remember me saying the Lakers have misfits, Lebron has emerged these guys to be championship contenders. With additions like Dion Waiters, a guy who got so high on edibles on the Miami Heat’s team plane that they released him. JR Smith, who infamously forgot the score in the 2018 Finals vs the Warriors, trust me you’ve seen it. Javale McGee who seemed to be on Shaqtin A Fool every week when he wasn’t in a Laker uniform. Dwight Howard, at one time the best big man in the league who was doubted and said couldn’t play anymore and played for 4 teams in 5 years. Then you have other guys who fill in like the Rajon Rondo, Markieff Morris, Avery Bradley, and reigning champion Danny Green who are veterans that make a difference in this league night in and night out and will help “The King” get his fourth ring.

It all starts Friday, Denver Nuggets come to the bubble as an underdog once again trying to beat the other LA team. Everyone knows that the Nuggets are gritty and have a young team but will they be able to play with the big dogs? Absolutley no shot. What is Mike Malone, respectively one of the best coaches, going to do with Lebron. Lebron James, getting his 16th ALL NBA Team selection, 13th 1st team selection is going to be a problem to the Nuggets lackluster defense. Jokic physically cannot keep up with Anthony Davis, the Kentucky Wildcat alum who just received another 1st team All NBA selection. While those guys are doing their things, you have shooters like Kadwell-Pope, Kuzma, Green, Morris, and JR Smith.

The Celtics in my eyes are the only chance with Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, Kemba Walker, and Gordon Hayward. The only team left with star power that can run with the Lakers is Boston.The Lakers will win this Nuggets series by 5-6 games with ease. If they match up to the Heat, Lakers will win the championship in 5 games. If the Lakers end up playing Boston in the Finals, I expect a seven game series and the most competitive NBA Finals since the Cavs and Pre Kevin Durant Warriors. Bottom line is no matter who Lebron and AD go up against, historically there is no duo that could defensively matchup this package of a fluent passing ball handler and big man.

Davis and James will get their rings this year and prove it to every person saying Lebron isn’t going to be dominant in this West. This is the same man who time and time again when the media says he can’t do this and when every team stacks up against him, he goes head on with the challenge and proves every single hater wrong.

Brayden’s For Sure Five

The 2020-2021 NFL season kicked off last week and I am aware that I’m a little late on this preseason football article. I will be sharing my 5 bold predictions that will happen this NFL season and I will also share my division winners along with everyone’s records in their divisions. The limited fans in the stands and guys like Phillip Rivers and Tom Brady wearing different jerseys will be odd, but I can’t wait for what this season holds. So with that being said let us jump into my 5 picks that will for sure happen this year. Before I preview my predictions this year, just a disclaimer that nothing that happened in Week 1 will be taken into consideration of my opinions expressed in this article.

Lamar Jackson is going to win his 2nd straight MVP

Lamar Jackson has been on a tear ever since losing in the divisional round to the Chargers on January 6th, 2019. After that day, Lamar has made it a mission as the new face for the Ravens franchise to make every other team regret passing up on him after he got drafted with the 32nd pick by the Baltimore Ravens. After winning 2016 Heisman Trophy, he added another one just 3 years later winning his 1st and more than likely not his last MVP of the 2019-2020 NFL Season. This is coming up on his 3rd year in the NFL and the young stud is still looking to improve his career by some playoff success and maybe a trip to the Super Bowl coming up in a couple months. His prolific sophomore season ended with 36 passing touchdowns and 3,127 yards. He lead the league in touchdown passes that year with only throwing 6 INT. Only 4 quarterbacks threw more turnovers, those are household names like Mahomes, Brees, Wilson, and Rodgers. Jackson also has proved he can break defenses down by tucking the ball and running it logging 1,206 yards and 7 touchdowns on the ground. He was 6th as the Rushing Yards leader, covering more yards than guys like Dalvin Cook, Saquon Barkley, Aaron Jones who had 16 touchdowns last season, and Jackson even ran more than his own teammate Mark Ingram the III. Jackson is due for yet another big year in 2020-2021 as defenses still can’t figure out how to stop the dual threat that he is and I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a couple more trophy’s in his showcase after this season is over.

Baker’s Time is Ticking

Baker Mayfield, the Cleveland Browns first overall pick in the 2018 draft hasn’t played as well in the NFL as the whole city of Cleveland has wished. The Oklahoma Sooner alum won a Heisman trophy in 2017 and went into the NFL with high hopes of turning a Browns team with some dysfunction into a playoff football team. Entering the 2020 season after the Sophomore Slump, the Browns and Baker have big plans to compete in the AFC North and hopefully get a wildcard spot seeing the they can’t get over the hump of beating the Ravens and winning their division. Baker threw for 3,827 yards having 22 TD’s and 21 INT’s. With a new head coach Kevin Stefanski, an offense heavy coach with deadly weapons like Odell Beckham Jr., Kareem Hunt, Jarvis Landry, and a top 3 running back in the league as Nick Chubb in the backfield, the Browns can’t wait any longer. This year is the year where Cleveland has to decide if Baker Mayfield is the guy for the future or if they need to move on to someone new in the draft or go after a QB who has already created a name for himself. If Baker makes a turn for the worse, Browns should look for a quarterback to get via trade like a Jamies Winston who led the league last year in passing yards or pass the starting position to Case Keenum who led the Minnesota Vikings to the playoffs. Keenum knows how to deal with wide receivers with personalities but star potential like Beckham Jr and Landry. Stefanski and the city of Cleveland have to decide do they trust Baker under center for the next couple years and extend him past his rookie deal or look to move on from the 3 year starter.

NFC South is the best division in the National Football League…and it isn’t close

The NFC South consists of the following teams the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Carolina Panthers. They all have A to B+ Quarterbacks and the guys under center keep those offenses rolling. Drew Brees and Tom Brady are elites that are previous Super Bowl champions and Matt Ryan has won an MVP along with Tom Brady. Teddy Bridgewater, who was the backup of Brees for the start of his career, has proven he is a top 15 Quarterback in this talented league and will keep the Carolina Panthers in the race as they compete in this stacked division. Outside of Carolina, all the other quarterbacks have elite weapons to give the ball to so they can make plays themselves. Saints signed Alvin Kamara to an extension to give them a run game. The NFC South also has debatably 4 of the top 5 receivers in the league with New Orleans Michael Thomas, Atlanta’s Julio Jones whose astounding height and speed makes him a deep all threat for Matt Ryan. Tampa Bay has the dynamic duo for the wideouts in Chris Godwin and Mike Evans sharing the catches, with Leonard Fournette taking the touches in the backfield finishing 6th amongst running backs in yards last year. The NFC South has potentially 3 serious playoff teams this year and that doesn’t include what Bridgewater could do.

Cowboys win the NFC East and are the NFL’s underdog this year

With the division this year, the East isn’t a very tough one but it is going to be a tough season for Dallas. The Cowboys having the weapons that they do, Dak Prescott has to win 11 games this year to make a statement and put everyone in the NFC on notice that they are in for a trip. Carson Wentz and the Eagles could be in striking distance to secure a wildcard spot. Wentz has been injured and not playing up to his Pro Bowl potential and if he has a bad stretch of games, Dallas can take that to their advantage and get a good winning streak going. Dak Prescott is looking for a max contract that Jerry Jones has seemed to hold out, only giving him franchise tags. If Prescott wins the division and I think with offensive weapons like Ezekiel Elliott with Amari Cooper and rookie CeeDee Lamb, the Cowboys true ceiling is representing the NFC in the Super Bowl. The New York Giants and Washington Football Team aren’t going to make a lot of noise in the NFC East and this division is really the Cowboys to lose.

Out with the Old, In with the New

As a kid who grew up on football it kills me to say it, but this is the last year that a lot of quarterbacks have elite seasons and any chance at a last run at a Super Bowl Ring. Some quarterbacks that I grew up on who have retired already like Eli and Peyton Manning, a Creveling household favorite. Some guys in the league who haven’t officially retired but know that this year isn’t going to be the season they win are guys like Joe Flacco, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Matt Schaub, Phillip Rivers, and Big Ben Roethlisberger. The end of the road is near and I don’t see these guys being the same dude to put a team on their back and take them to compete for a championship. For some veterans like Tom Brady, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and yes, even Aaron Rodgers, these guys have one more year to have a legit chance at holding that Lombardi trophy up and prove that they still got it. These new guys are coming in and taking the league by storm. Some of the flashiest quarterbacks the league has ever seen, making the position not a pocket passing league with dudes like Deshaun Watson and Lamar Jackson who willingly leave a pocket to make something work on the ground. Then the tremendous arm’s of guys who will stay in the pocket like Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, Carson Wentz, and Patrick Mahomes. The new veterans of the position in this league that the crowds come to watch every Sunday. Don’t underestimate the kids coming into the league like Drew Locke, Kyler Murray, Sam Darnold, and the rookie soon to be phenom Joe Burrow that the city of Cincinnati will have something to finally look forward too. As a 20 year old looking back, I am blessed to say I watched Tom Brady, the best quarterback to ever play, in his prime along side some of the greats like Brees and Rodgers. Some goodbyes are just harder than others.

Here are my predictions on the records for everybody this year:

AFC North

Ravens 13-3, Browns 8-8, Bengals 5-11, Steelers 5-11

AFC West

Chiefs 14-2, Broncos 9-7, Raiders 6-10, Chargers 4-12

AFC East

Bills 10-6, Patriots 9-7, Jets 7-9, Dolphins 5-12

AFC South

Colts 11-5, Titans 10-6, Texans 8-8, Jaguars 3-13

NFC West

Seahawks 11-5, 49ers 9-7, Cardinals 9-7, Rams 7-9

NFC South

Buccaneers 12-4, Saints 12-4, Falcons 10-6, Carolina 3-13

NFC North

Packers 11-5, Vikings 9-7, Bears 5-11, Lions 3-13

NFC East

Cowboys 10-6, Eagles 8-8, Washington Football Team 5-11, Giants 4-12