I doubt my brother remembers, but I do. We played in the street. We yelled “car!” and ran to the sidewalk. We waited eagerly for the car to pass. We would run back out into the street, and granny style I would heave the slightly deflated spalding rock in the air with all of the strength in me, and yell “Kobe!” Six times out of ten I missed, and my brother would say “you can’t yell Kobe if you’re going to shoot granny.” I teared up in my black throw back #8 Lakers jersey, I wanted to yell Kobe. So I worked, and I shot, and I practiced, and I hoped for the day I was strong enough to shoot over-hand and yell that name. That was my first taste of Mamba Mentality.
Beyond basketball, Kobe was an icon. He was an Oscar winner, he was a role model, he was someone that made the impossiblity of goals seem all the more possible with just that much more work. I’m at a loss for words. Kobe was someone that you thought you’d have the privlage of watching age gracefully. He was an NBA legend, that did not skip a beat as a role model post retirement.
We used to clown Kobe. He was a jerk on the court, he does not pass ball, he was overzealous in his depictions of work ethic. Frankly however, I feel ashamed, I feel sorry that I sit here and say; he came off as a jerk on the court because he wasn’t going to let anyone stop him from being the best. He did not pass the ball because he was going to take his success into his own hands, he did not want to leave it up to others, and he was overzealous in his depictions of work ethic because through Kobe I have learned that things do not happen magically, you have to work toward success.
This is the only thing I thought as I cried and hoped the news was false.
I’ll call it 24/8
I watched him score 81 in ’06.
Passed MJ in 2014
Does anyone else remember when he just would not stop dropping 50 points?
My brothers told stories of his championship runs
I laughed as he relentlessly dominated all-star games
Reluctantly watching him drop 61 at MSG in ’09
Did he really shoot free throws on a torn achilles???
Kobe’s last game was a perpetual moment in time.
Thank you Kobe Bryant for making sure I wouldn’t shoot granny style anymore.
Prayers to all nine people that perished today, RIP Kobe and RIP GiGi. Hug someone today.
Director: Noah Baumbach
Writer: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Adam Driver (Charlie) Scarlette Johansson (Niocle) Azhy Robertson (Henry) Laura Dern (Nora)
I woke up at 8:30 this morning determined to begin this series. I wrestled with a list of movies I needed to see, but ultimately decided on this one. The only way to get better at writing is to write, and the only way to know more about film is to watch, study, and react. I am a self proclaimed semi-cinefile, and my knowledge of film does not span beyond one semester of film study at University in London. What I took from that class was my own inspiration derived from different film studies I embarked on and they made me want to write. I am writing this preface to express that my intention here is not to come off as a pretentious or self-insistant of my knowledge on films, but to simply provide detailed opinion and hopefully noteworthy insight that provides inspiration, direction, creativity, and interest. Please feel free to join this quasi movie club by suggesting different films to me as well.
Marriage Story is a film that resonates with some, reaches others, and all together tells a real story while using fictious people. I read a joke on social media that poked fun at the critically acclaimed argument scene between Charlie (Adam Driver) and Nicole (Scarlette Johansson) that said “if they get an oscar so should my upstairs neighbors.” Reluctantly I laughed, but as I contemplated this movie after the first watch I realized that in that joke is proof of just how impactful and on point this film was. Charlie and Nicole were that couple that wallowed in a toxic over the top form of love. The outset of the movie garnered a bit of apprehension on my part because I was afraid it would be a drawn out story of love and subsequent hate, but the beginning was actually more hopeless than the end.
We ( I ) were (was) orginally influenced to believe that Nicole Barber was a woman wading in the pain of a loveless marriage. However, the occupations the couple held added an interesting element to the storyline that changed my opinion on that front. Charlie was a director that along with his wife started an upward trending theatre in Brooklyn, and Nicole was his fearless lead who at first was the marquee but slowly became another character connected to his genius. As a viewer I realized before it became apparent in the script that he was living his best life and in that life she was just a moving part. I found this unfair and evidently so did Nicole.
The writing displayed by Noah Baumbach in this film was comfortably conversational and at the same time genuine enough make the story real. The subtlties in the way Charlie and Nicole communicate with each other make their pain palpable. The direction coupled with the writing brought this story to life. Life is not a perfect line of call and response and you did not see that in this film. Little things like conversations carrying to other rooms, people yelling over each other, and the overall purposeful disorganized nature of their life depicted the nature of how this story would pan out.
The way the story played out compelled the viewer to sympathize with Charlie for a large part of the movie even despite learning damning news about his actions. Charlie plays a naive and clueless man who has a blind trust for Nicole through a divorce process the two have polar opposite ideas about. As he gradually learns more about what might happen the numbness and coldness seems to engulf him. The fact is his flaw is that he is selfish and oblivious at times in this movie.
The juxtaposition of the three main lawyers in this film was an added element of human nature that provided a crutch for viewers that do not know about what Charlie and Nicole went through to eventually end where they did. Nora (Laura Dern) was a chaotic good, a lawyer always looking to win and in the end always doing so. Dern’s character had many memorable moments in this film, which in turn earned her a Golden Globe, but her most revealing was her last as she tells Nicole “you won,” which is a call back to the argument scene where Adam Driver’s character tells his wife “your’e insane, and your’e winning” as the two miscommunicate the topic of conversation and what exactly it means to be winning in this situation. Bert (Alan Alda) was a chaotic neutral who, without saying, was clearly impacted by his divorce history and thus negatively impacting the mindstate of Charlie. He created a true element of time in this film as he suggested that Charlie cut his losses and wait for Henry to grow up and form a true opinion of his father. The chaotic evil of the three lawyers is Jay (Ray Liotta) who sees Charlie as a number, simply a source of commission, and in turn does the best by Charlie. I thought it was a really honest and therefore intruiging touch that the characters openly admit that evil in this process is rewarded, it took some nasty things being said for the couple to understand that.
Henry Barber’s dynamic in this film was innocent and displayed a level of realism that was accurate for children of divorce. Henry only had a vague knowledge of the situation and yet these two were fighting for the right to uproot his life from one coast to another. Henry reinforces Bert’s claim of time by gradually growing away from his father, and warming closer to his mother. This expresses the raw attention span of children and how they adapt to change by simply doing what is in front of them. Charlie laid fetal on the kitchen floor, clenching his bloodied arm, clearly distressed and Henry seems to show very little concern. I thought this was a eerily accurate depiction of how naive kids can be, and it serves to make you think; “how many times have I done that to my parents?”
My favorite scene in this film came closer to the end. As I stated previously the beginning of this film was more hopeless than the end. The proceedings were coming to a breathless empty close and the man who finds family in anyone around him sought out his theatre troop as a source of venting. As he confides he stops himself and a piano melody begins. In an act of randomness he begins to sing almost as if this film had been a musical the entire time. “Someone to hold you too close, someone to hurt you too deep, somone to sit in your chair and ruin your sleep,” is how the song starts with an air of disapproval for this “someone but it ends with the his desire for this someone. In a caricature dialouge he has with himself Charlie urges himself; “want something… WANT SOMETHING.” He responds to this by asking this “somebody” to do all of the things he previously mentioned citing the reasoning as feeling alive. He adds that being alone is not being alive. You can watch the scene below.
I’d say this movie explains love. It does not have resonate with you, frankly it did not resonate with me in the slightest. It reached me however, and made me realize how draining love can be. Love has a tendancy to start as a want, form into a necessity, and eventually become a chore. Eventually you lose yourself in a person, and they tend to know you better than you know you. And much like you do for theirs, they become responsible for your being. It is not optional most of the time, this kind of love. This kind of love is numbing. It is a feeling where the thought of being around that person is taxing and tiring, but the thought of being away from that person is deflating and depressing. In many ways love itself is self depricating, but as Adam Driver protrays in his solo; it makes you feel alive, and as long as you feel alive you’re not alone. The question is if feeling alive is worth the toll love takes on the human heart, mind, and body.
Respond to me with your thoughts, and thank you for reading
We are in the thick of the most wonderful time of year. Rivalling Christmas, the November slate of having football every day makes getting up and going from class to work back to class a little bit easier.
Tonight we get a good one. The underachieving LA Rams welcome the high flying Baltimore Ravens.
First the Ravens: There isn’t much you can say about Lamar Jackson besides that he is incredible. You can’t speak on players like that. You have to just watch. Lamar is riding the MVP wave and he brings along with him a loaded offense including, his hype man Mark Ingram, his security blanket Mark Andrews, his neophyte speedster Hollywood Brown, and sneaky good wide receiver group.
The Baltimore defense is no slouch. They are one season removed from being the top ranked group, and just when you expected a shoot out against the Texans last week we got a beat down. Earl Thomas has come right in and been the anchor and Marcus Peters has been great since his departure from LA. Peters gets his shot at revenge tonight so I expect him to be that much better.
Now onto LA: The Rams are a very solid team there is no doubting this. Something however has been a bit off with teams like LA, Philly, and Dallas to name a few. Jared Goff has 10 touchdowns to 11 interceptions, Todd Gurley hasn’t looked vintage, and for the most part the Rams have lost games this year you’d expect them to win. Aaron Donald won’t be enough, I’m afraid. The Rams may very well be running directly into a buzz saw in the Ravens.
Ravens get the W.
The much anticipated Grammy nominations were announced this morning ahead of the official award show scheduled to air January 26th, on CBS. The list of nominees is headlined by artists like Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish, and Lizzo who have all garnered multiple Grammy nods.
Some personal nominations I liked include:
Dreamville nominated for best rap album with Revenge of the Dreamers III. This nomination includes several deserving artists from Smino, to J.I.D. as well as Young Nudy.
IGOR by Tyler the Creator was also nominated for the same category
Dreamville & Earthgang are nominated for best rap performance with their rendition of the energetic track Down Bad.
View the full list below:
Song of the Year
Record of the Year
Album of the Year
Best New Artist
Best Pop Solo Performance
Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album
Best Pop Vocal Album
Best Dance Recording
Best Dance/Electronic Album
Best Rap Album
Best Rap Performance
Best Rap/Sung Performance
Best Rap Song
Best R&B Performance
Best Traditional R&B Performance
Best R&B Song
Best Urban Contemporary Album
Best R&B Album
Best Latin Pop Album
Best Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album
Best Regional Mexican Music Album (Including Tejano)
Best Tropical Latin Album
Best Rock Performance
Best Metal Performance
Best Rock Song
Best Rock Album
Best Alternative Music Album
Best Country Solo Performance
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
Best Country Song
Best Country Album
Best Gospel Performance/Song
Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song
Best Gospel Album
Best Contemporary Christian Music Album
Best Roots Gospel Album
Best American Roots Performance
Best American Roots Song
Best Americana Album
Best Folk Album
Best Regional Roots Music Album
Best Reggae Album
Best World Music Album
Best Comedy Album
Best Compilation Soundtrack For Visual Media
Best Song Written For Visual Media
Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical
Best Music Video
Best Music Film
By Trevon Lloyd James
We found out this week that Saturday (today) the NFL was holding a workout for the polarizing quarterback turned activist, Colin Kaepernick. Since the moment the story broke speculation riddled the twitter-sphere. Some of the more common takes on this situation were inklings of a publicity stunt, others thought the NFL was trying to save its own tail, and some genuinely believed Kaep was finally being afforded a fair shot to play in the league again. My opinion on this topic is fairly irrelevant, because no matter the reasoning behind the work out; he would at the very least get to show everyone what he is capable of doing (as if we forgot). His most recent stint in the NFL was mediocre at best, but people need not forget that at a time, this guy was regarded as a top tier quarterback.
It showed during the workouts. As I watched I noticed that there wasn’t a throw he couldn’t make that the average back up quarterback could. There wasn’t really anything that blatantly showed why he shouldn’t have a roster spot. Kaep threw a 60 yard bomb, and it looked about as natural, about as smooth, and about as NFL ready as some NFL starters. There is no telling if he will return to Super Bowl form, in all likelihood he won’t, but in the same breath Kaep does not necessarily need to be at that level to secure a job in this league.
As for the legal and business side of this situation you can see Colin Kaepernick’s full statement, which he preaches transparency and among other things a fair shot. Kaep has been “ready for three years” now and perhaps we may have taken a step closer to seeing him back on an NFL field.
View this thread below for a timeline of events.
By Trevon Lloyd James
In what was for the most part a snooze fest of a game the Cleveland Browns came out on top. The final score was 21-7. Mason Rudolph threw 4 interceptions, and looked pretty terrible while doing it. There’s a guy working out Saturday afternoon that probably saw that and was a tad bit excited.
That’s the boring part. With about 8 seconds left in the game things got weird. In garbage time of any game, especially a rivalry things tend to get chippy. This was far across the line. Myles Garrett the consensus best player on the Browns rusher the passer like any other play, but when Rudolph let go of the ball, Garrett decided to finish his QB hit. As he wrestled Rudolph to the ground, the young QB was clearly displeased. He grabbed Garrett by the helmet and attempted to rip it off… Much like his night in the pocket, this too was a poor decision. Garrett promptly said “two can play at that game,” and pulled the QB up BY HIS HELMET, and subsequently ripped the helmet off with on feral swoop.
The situation should have been over, except only… It was not. Myles Garrett swung the helmet with a ferocity at Mason Rudolph’s had and made direct contact.
Reckless, careless, stupid, and anything else that you can think of to absolutely condemn that act.
It is obviously fair to say Rudolph started it, and leave it to the pretty boy QB to start a fight he can’t finish, get in way to deep, and then look toward the refs while his linemen, namely Maurkice Pouncey, gives Myles Garrett a two piece combo followed by a sweet chin music while he was on the ground.
But Myles Garrett, come on… I mean seriously! This guy was unconscious on the field not even a month ago and you think this is a solid idea? You’re one of the corner stone pieces of a team trying claw its way back into the playoff pictures and you pull that? Overall, it was all very boneheaded. The NFL is going to reign down upon Myles Garrett with the wrath of Rodger GODdell and this is going to be a story that will headline the NFL media circuit for the next few weeks.
By Trevon Lloyd James
WARNING: SENSITIVE CONTENT
I get it. I truly do. For a moment in time Bernardo Silva probably just thought, this is hilarious and my friend, Benjamin Mendy, is going to feel the same way. For a brief lapse in time Bernardo thought everyone would see what he sees, a hilarious joke to a friend.
Seeing both sides of the shrubbery in this instance is difficult, but not impossible. To the people that are angry, know that not everyone makes comments, claims, and remarks with malcontent. Some people don’t see the negative, because they have never been exposed to the negative. To the people that are angry in the other direction (in defense of the Man City star), I beg you not to play naive in this situation. In a season riddled with fan misconduct on the council of race relations as well as political unrest in the department of race you would surely think that something like this simply can not fly. Players need to be held accountable for things of this nature because it enforces a zero tolerance policy to any sort of racist or ill conceived “jokes.”
My last remarks lean toward one notion; there are many kids, both now grown up, and still young, that look like Ben Mendy, and those kids are subject to the same treatment as Bernardo Silva’s jokes, only the intent is not light hearted, the reason is not one made out of love and humor, and those kids are not subject to that treatment in a positive humorous light.
Much like any racey, political, or controversial topic, I like to remain ambiguous about my position. I do write this article however, urging everyone that is angry on both sides to consider for a moment every detail of this situation.
Trevon James, signing off.
By Trevon Lloyd James
There is a lot of good things about the San Fransico 49ers. To start, their defense might actually be the best in the NFL. That defense is more likley to score on any given play than some offenses. To counteract that defense is a good offense. This offense has progressed beautifully as the season has waged on. The addition of Emmanuel Sanders has proven to be much needed, and for a team that is already 8-0 watching everything start to gel on the otherside of the ball is a bit of a scary sight.
Jimmy G was in a groove against the Cardinals, but this week he is with out his saftey blanket, George Kittle. Kittle is sidelined tonight with a knee and an ankle ailment. Fortunately enough for the 9ers and their fans, this can either serve as a point of bragging, “we beat you and we did not have Kittle.” Or it can double as a viable excuse, “well we were missing our best target.”
I watched every analyst on ESPN’s Monday Night Countdown choose the 49ers. While there is obviously a reason for such a phenomenon I am also not new to the pickem’ game. I know what that means.
What it means:
The Seahawks have an MVP canidate on their side. 22 (TWENTY TWO) touchdowns to 1 (ONE) interception will serve as the first true moment of clarity for this 9ers defense. Couple that with the addition of Josh Gordon, I am inclined to not bet against Russell Wilson.
Seahawks 24 9ers 20
Let me preface this blog by saying that work has been in the way of consistent posting, with the semester starting up again I would like to quote the great Andy Reid in reference to my effort being put into you all reading my articles, “Times Yours.”
Ahead of the regular season it is kind of mind numbing to be spoon fed previews of each NFL team. We as fans understand things change. The NFL is a revolving door, and it stands for “Not for long.” I had a hard time wrestling with the notion of trying to go through all 32 teams and tell you what to look forward to for each, and what looks promising as well as what needs to be worked on. What I have decided to do is save you the time. My amateur quasi-expert analysis is better left in my subconscious until I have acquired a little bit more juice in the op-ed blog game. With all of that said I have decided to write something I like to call “dynasty talk.” Today is the NFL edition and in the near future I will inevitably do the NBA edition. I am going to attempt to break down the potential of 12 teams that I believe will make the playoffs and explain why I believe that team could reign supreme over the league for not only this year but the next few years to come. I welcome any and all criticism as I love meaningful sports dialogue.
- New Orleans Saints
- LA Rams
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Green Bay Packers
- Dallas Cowboys
- Chicago Bears
- New England Patriots
- LA Chargers
- Cleveland Browns
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Houston Texans
In the hunt: Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, New York Jets, Atlanta Falcons, Seattle Seahawks, Pittsburgh Steelers San Fransisco 49ers
“Wait What?” Teams: New York Giants, Oakland Raiders
Nope: Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans
New Orleans Saints- This feels more obvious than anything. The Saints boast an elite quarterback in Drew Brees that is still in his “seasoned veteran” stage and has yet to enter his “everyone lying indiscriminately about his talents” or better referred to as his “E.L.I.” stage. Although they lost Mark Ingram, Alvin Kamara seems to be on schedule in his quest to continue his strides straight into his prime. That defense is young and has past the point of being sneaky good into just good. If not for a terrible missed call that hasn’t been talked about nearly enough, the Saints are (probably) in the super bowl, and they (probably) make it a bit more entertaining, but to be quite honest the only thing stopping the Saints from doing better this season (2019/20) than they did last is their focus on what happened in last season (2018/2019).
Trajectory: Consistently dominant
Crucial Game(s): Cowboys 9/29
L.A. Rams- The Rams will not be sneaking up on anyone this season. Much to the chagrin of the Seahawks then Rams are now comfortably the best team in the NFC West. The West is one division in the NFL that figures to be the most surprising because for some reason people such as myself have jumped ship on Russel Wilson, and don’t believe Kyler Murray or Jimmy G can get it done. The Rams roll out an NBA style big three with Jared Goff, Todd Gurley, and Aaron Donald. They are solid at just about every position on the field. This makes the Rams could be an obvious playoff pick for years to come.
Trajectory: Slow Start, Hot Finish
Crucial Game(s): Seahawks games
Philadelphia Eagles- As I remain unbiased and objective I will say the Eagles are in a weird spot. 2017 created a lot of hype. That was two years ago, and for Carson Wentz that was two season ending injuries ago. The Eagles wreak of looming disappointment but the amount of talent they have on that roster would suggest otherwise. As an Eagles fan I am very cautiously excited for the 2019/2020 campaign and beyond. At quarterback the birds are young and talented, at running back with Miles Sanders and Jordan Howard they show promise, the wide receivers according to several outlets may be the best core in the NFL, and the offensive line has been consistently top 5. The defense is what it is, they show up and they have been bend don’t break as long as Philly has been relevant. The key for the Eagles is not getting complacent. If they play disrespected, pissed off, and with a chip like 2017 they’ll go 13-3, 12-4 for this year and beyond. My fear is between the new contracts, clothing lines, and hip hop albums coming from that locker room the birds may find themselves distracted. Regardless this may be one of the most talented offenses in the NFL coupled with a good enough defense and that is enough for a top 6 spot most years.
Trajectory: Rollercoaster, wins where needed
Crucial Game(s): Cowboys games/ Seahawks 11/24
Green Bay Packers- Healthy Aaron Rodgers to healthy Devante Adams. If that doesn’t work then I am honestly not quite sure, however if it does that’s really all the pack need for a run. A-A- Ron is that good (when healthy).
Trajectory: Hot start, average finish
Crucial Game(s): Vikings games/ Bears Games/ Panthers 11/10
Dallas Cowboys- As I remain unbiased and objective I will say (screw Dallas) the Cowboys have a big three (maybe) again. Way back in the 90’s the Cowboys had a big three and we saw the results (well we read about them in old history text books). Cooper, Prescott, and Elliot are really all the boys need to carry them to the playoffs but for Dallas fans far and wide the good news is; fortunately that’s not all they have. The Cowboys have probably the best linebacking core in the NFL with Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander-Esch (check that spelling) leading the way, and three things in life are promised; death, taxes, and a solid Cowboys front 5. If the distractions much like fog clear the path ahead for the Cowboys and Jason Garret gets out of his talented teams way, the insufferable team self proclaimed to America will be very hard to beat if Jerry closes his mouth and opens his wallet. Excuse me while I throw up.
Trajectory: Slow start, strong finish
Crucial Game(s): Eagles games/ Rams 12/15
Chicago Bears- We do not know just yet what to make of the Bears offense. Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller are promising tempting players that can go either way. Tarik Cohen is a human joystick with Darren Sproles energy, and David Montgomery went viral in training camp and we have not stopped talking about him since. The O-line is pretty solid, but not a household discussion like the Cowboys, Eagles, or Rams, and the guy under-center makes for a great water cooler debate. Is Mitch Trubisky good, bad, or average. Personally I think he’s good, with potential to be, really good, but I do see the bad sometimes which sets him at a perfect average. The offense is young and promising and next to an elite defense that can be the best thing to have. The reason there is such a debate around Trubisky is because he has never really had to take a game into his own hands. His defense can do that for him. Which for a team to win is just fine by any staff or fan base. The Bears will be really good for the next few years as long as they do not take themselves too seriously or get out of character like the Eagles did in 2018 (9-7). Be that team that everyone is fine over looking before you wake up on championship Sunday and their playing the team everyone knew would be there.
Trajectory: Average throughout
Crucial Game(s): Vikings/Packers games
New England Patriots- You all pretty much get it, I wont waste time. All I will say is having Josh Gordon, N’Keal Harry, Julian Edelman, and Demaryius Thomas gives me 2007 vibes. I do not like 2007 vibes. Funny thing is the Pats have been good since before 2007 which was 12 years ago. 12 years ago I was preparing for middle school, now I have a day job and anxiety, and the Patriots are still good.
Crucial Game(s): Chiefs 12/8
L.A. Chargers- Football is all the way back in L.A. and outside of the Eagles winning it all I would not mind seeing an all L.A. Super Bowl. The Chargers have always been that team that is good, but for some reason (probably lack of talent around Daddy Rivers) was never that good. Well now, here they are. Keenan Allen is healthy and elite, forget underrated he’s top 8 if people do not see it then football isn’t their thing. They have dawgs behind him like Mike Williams. If the bolts figure out Melvin Gordon that offense is pretty much up there with the top 5. The defense is going to go from sneaky good to solid this year. Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram might be the best opposite rushers in the NFL, and outside of the Derwin James loss every where else is either serviceable or solid.
Trajectory: Solid season throughout
Crucial Game(s): Chiefs Games
Cleveland Browns- The Browns give me Golden State Warriors vibes (hear me out). They are that team we love, before they get too good and we hate them. At the same time they give me *Vince Young voice* “Dream Team” vibes where their team is pretty much like throwing Travis Scott, Ed Sheeran, Maroon 5, and Beyonce on the same song and expecting it to be good, but alas it is not. However the Browns intrigue me not because of their offense’s boisterous core. The Browns intrigue me because of the loquacious skill players making headlines, people have forgotten about a very, very solid defense. Top to bottom that defense has studs, and their additions weren’t small either, all of those things headlined by Myles Garret could end up being the real reason this team competes for playoff spots in the future. I can see the Sunday NFL Countdown feature story now revealing them as the real reason the Browns are on an 8 game win streak.
Trajectory: Slow start, Hot finish
Crucial Game(s): Every game, no room for error.
Jacksonville Jaguars- Let’s be honest, this spot was reserved for the Colts, then for the Texans, but now by default goes to the Jags. If that defense can do more than last year, and half of what 2017 was they’ll be good enough to piggy back off of an average offense. Truth is the winner of the AFC South will probably be 9-7 and with the Texans losing their running game, and the Colts losing their pride and joy, that leaves the Jags who have a capable running back and also have the only Super Bowl MVP from the 2012 Draft class and playoff wizard Nick Foles. Do I believe that the Jags will compete for years to come? No, No I do not, but if the Colts squalor in mediocracy with Jacoby Brissett and miss out on the Herberts, Tuas, or even Trevor Lawrences of the world, and the Texans remain on par with their under-achieve, then make up for it, then lose in the playoffs routine, the new kings of the division could end up being the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Trajectory: Average throughout
Crucial Game(s): Houston Texans games
Kansas City Chiefs- Losing Kareem Hunt was a tough blow, and another back burner reason the browns are going to be pretty good. For the Chiefs it’s a chance to make a testament to their offensive system and depth at the position. They have the best quarterback in the NFL in Pat Mahomes, and their defense with the addition of Frank Clark has improved enough to perhaps at the very least stay onside before you make a game winning interception to send you to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs will be the Chiefs for years to come. Coach: Elite Offense: Elite Defense: Good enough. That 5 seed is just because I think the Chargers will hit a run and win the division this year.
Trajectory: Shaky start, Solid finish
Crucial Game(s): Patriots 12/8
Houston Texans- The Texans may not win the AFC South but there are enough self deprecating teams in the AFC to at least get them into the playoffs. Should the Clowney deal be resolved, and the defense play like it usually does the Texans could end up in the playoffs just by the grace of being in the right place at the right time. They have the best Wide out in the league which, something that OBJ would tell you only means something when the whole team is good, and they have a solid young quarterback. Personally I believe the loss of Lamar Miller creates a huge hole that could be the difference in the division, so they should look to add a guy to help out Duke Johnson, but if they do not do that I can see the Texans backing into the playoffs anyway. It really all depends on the Ravens and Jets.
Trajectory: slow start, race to the finish
Crucial Game(s): Jags games/Colts games
Why they’re In the hunt:
Baltimore Ravens- That offense is going to be must see tv, and they added studs to the already #1 ranked defensive unit. Did I make a mistake? We’ll see the Ravens are always right there, but this year I do believe they might get some bad breaks in the turnover department since Lamar Jackson is officially #OnFilm
Indianapolis Colts- They #RanOutOfLuck in the QB department, but they still have a really good young core, if Jacoby Brissett could be the QB Tom Brady ran out of town they could sneak into the playoffs.
Minnesota Vikings- The NFC North is the most competitive division in the NFC when everyones healthy, the Lions don’t count, but the Bears Packers Vikings race is going to be one for the ages, I think they’ll actually make the playoffs, but for click bait purposes I talked about the bears more in depth. If it isn’t the eagles then the Vikings have the best WR core in the NF, and Dalvin Cook got these boys #ShookDaddy in the preseason which is scary, they’ll probably end up between 10-6 and 12-4 if Kirk doesn’t stink it up too much, but for now they’re in the hunt.
Carolina Panthers- Cam Newton and Run CMC can carry this team to the playoffs if the Bears, Cowboys, Packers, or Eagles decide to #ChokeItUp.
New York Jets- Sam Darnold is either going to #JumpOrSlump if he jumps it may be wraps for other wild card teams. If he slumps it will be wraps for the Jets. They have the capacity to be 10-6, but the negative potential and loose ends to be 3-13, no in between.
Atlanta Falcons- The Falcons are the epitome of #TheyShouldBeBetterRight? based off that premise alone, solid linebacker, DE and DB play, and the second best if not best WR in the NFL, a good running back and semi elite-we aren’t really sure honestly- quarterback the Falcons should compete, but for some reason ever since the Patriots emasculated that coaching staff on the worlds biggest stage the Falcons have lost their juice.
Seattle Seahawks- Same as the Falcons with a sprinkle of Russel Wilson. Bobby Wagner is the most underrated 99 rating in Madden probably ever, and the Seahawks are the most #Disrespected team in the NFL, but also I get it. They will probably have to rely on a choke job from other teams in order to get in.
Pittsburgh Steelers- If you ask a non Jaguar fan they’ll tell you Big Ben is still good. Which, I think he is. If not, Ju-Ju and James Conner will bail him out. I do not think thats enough. Mike Tomlin might get exposed, but everyone says not to count the Steelers out so I won’t, however behind closed doors, their going in the book as #Done for me.
“Wait What?” Teams, No Seriously Hear Me Out:
New York Giants- They play in the most unpredictable division in the NFL, have the best (yeah I said it) running back in the league, and ALL they need to do is win the division. The same divison that has not had a back to back champion since the birds in ’03 and ’04. The champ changes hands every year, and the Redskins are not it, the Cowboys might not have their best player, and the Eagles are more wishy washy than your girlfriend trying to decide where to eat. All I’m saying is what if Gettlemen was right and the locker room was fractured thus causing poor play. What if it genuinely just needs to be Eli’s world. W H A T I F.
Oakland Raiders- Wouldn’t it be hilariously poetic for the Raiders to come out of no where and end up good. They have the talent, if you look at it closely; improved O-line, added AB who will wear a helmet, drafted Josh Jacobs along with 2 other first rounders on defense, and have Derek Carr that to me screams N I N E A N D S E V E N.
San Fransisco 49ers- I have this weird feeling about the 49ers. They remind me of the Jets in many ways. They have a quarterback that should be ready, a good enough collection of talent around said quarterback, and a good defense. One big thing people forget about San Fran, is that they have been stock piling 1st round draft picks on that D-Line, and not just 1st round picks, but with how bad they have been in recent years these picks are usually top 10. Respectively, the last four years those picks have been 2 overall, 9 overall, 3 overall, and 7 overall. All I am saying is #DoNotActSurprised if they whoop up on some teams, but also don’t be surprised if they still stink.
Nope: Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins, Detroit Lions, Miami Dolphins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals