NFL Snapshots: Super Bowl LVII

Now that was a Super Bowl.

The Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, in the third most-watched television show in history, with an average audience of 113.1 million viewers.

The ending was a bummer, though. Even as a Chiefs fan, I was anticipating a frantic final drive by the Eagles in the final two minutes. It never came because of a holding penalty that allowed the Chiefs to run the clock all the way down.

James Bradberry admitted after the game that he held Juju Smith-Schuster’s jersey. He was hoping the referee would let it slide; the referee threw a flag.

As you can imagine, it sparked a heated debate among fans who thought it was the right call and fans who thought it was weak, and that the referees should’ve let the players decide the game in that situation.

Look, was it the most egregious holding penalty there’s ever been? No. Was the ball uncatchable? Yeah, probably. However, the ball being uncatchable only applies to Pass Interference calls, so there’s no point bringing it up as an argument as to why the flag shouldn’t have been thrown.

What’s my opinion? I don’t really have one. Do I need one? The referee threw the flag – that’s it. In general, I’m not a fan of officials – in any sport – who pick and choose the situations in which they decide to enforce the rules.

It bothers me in the NHL playoffs, when the referees refuse to call any penalties in overtime because they don’t want to decide the game. Well, why have any rules then?

That’s just one example.

So, yeah, I guess I’m fine with the referee calling the holding penalty. It robbed us of a great ending to a great game but, oh well. Boo hoo for us.

I think one thing we need to remember is that referees on the field of play do not get the same angles, nor slow motion replays, that we get at home. They see the play, in real time, from an angle that may not be most advantageous. They can’t cycle through eight different angles in their head and fixate on the best one.

I remember refereeing intramural sports and even then, I felt like things were happening too fast. No matter what call I made, someone always had something to complain about. Whining and complaining is the only constant in sport.

What I’m trying to say is, the referees have a hard – almost impossible – job.

If we created the sport of football today, there would probably be two to four referees on the field – mainly to serve as traffic cops. And the rest of the officiating crew would be sitting in front of television screens, making calls in real-time. Because as things are right now, the viewers at home know what happened before the zebras on the field.

Anyway, to my Snapshots!

Normally, they are short. However, for the Super Bowl, I need to do bullet points.

Kansas City Chiefs

  • The offensive line gave up 0 sacks.

  • If you were to put a Ferrari engine inside a bumper car, you’d get Isiah Pacheco’s running style.

  • Seconds before Harrison Butker’s field goal attempt hit the left upright, I noticed he would be kicking from on top of the freshly painted Super Bowl LVII logo on the field and said to myself, “Oh, he’s missing this one.” Not only did I think it might be slippery, but I also thought the different background colour might throw off his depth perception. He’s used to kicking a football with green grass beneath it. Now, he had dark colours under the ball. I don’t know if any of what I just said contributed to why the ball clanged off the left upright, but those were the potential reasons running through my mind before the ball was even snapped.

  • Via audio from Inside The NFL, we learned that on Skyy Moore’s touchdown, the Chiefs actually lined up in the wrong formation. Mahomes motioned for Toney, like he had on the previous touchdown, but Toney pointed over to Moore. And then Mahomes motioned to Moore, who came in towards the quarterback, before sprinting back to the sideline when the ball was snapped. He was wide open for the touchdown. It was a fortunate accident.

  • The Chiefs went into halftime trailing by 10 points and I thought, “They got the Eagles exactly where they want them.” There is nothing scarier in the NFL than a Patrick Mahomes-led offence when he is trailing. Tell me I’m wrong.

  • You know how every time LeBron James switched teams, his new team would acquire a bunch of three-point shooters to surround him with? Well, I think the Chiefs just learned they can do the same thing with Mahomes and their offensive weapons. Just get him guys who can catch the ball and make plays – they don’t need to be superstars. They don’t need to be paid a lot. Receivers on rookie deals and free agents who are looking for a fresh start/a shot at a ring, apply within. That’s how the Chiefs will probably operate going forward.

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Jalen Hurts was, arguably, the best player in the Super Bowl. He rushed for three touchdowns and threw for one more. I was so impressed by his performance. I don’t know what else he could’ve done, besides not fumble the ball in the second quarter which led to a Nick Bolton touchdown.

  • The Eagles defence didn’t impact the game at all. It was shocking. The scary defensive line couldn’t get Mahomes in the backfield. They couldn’t stop the run. Kelce got his. Juju got going in the second half. Toney and Moore ran the same route on their respective touchdowns and the closest Eagle to them would’ve had to pay long distance charges to get a hold of them.

  • The Eagles dominated time of possession with 35:47.

  • DeVonta Smith and A.J. Brown combined for 196 yards receiving. They showed up in a big way and when people write their, “Top 5 Receiving Duos in the NFL” next season, they belong right near the top.

  • There was no running game, outside of Jalen Hurts, who rushed for 70 yards.

  • Whenever the Eagles ran the QB Sneak, it was inevitable that Hurts would get the first down. It got to a point where it was almost unfair.

  • The Eagles tried to allow Jerick McKinnon to score at the end of the game, as to prevent the Chiefs from running out the clock and ensuring Jalen Hurts had a legitimate chance to march down field and tie the game. Instead, McKinnon slid at the one yard line. I thought the Eagles defenders should’ve pushed and/or carried him into the end zone. They were right there, just push him in. Don’t give him the chance to slide.

  • A lot of teams in the NFC are going to be better next season, but I think the Eagles will still be near the top of the standings. Jalen Hurts is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, who not only ascended to new heights, but answered all questions. Sure, he didn’t win the Super Bowl, but what does he have left to prove? He is The Guy.


  • I thought Rihanna was great. They could probably bring her back next year to sing all of the songs she couldn’t fit in this year because she left out some hits. I was waiting for “Disturbia”, “Pon de Replay”, and “SOS”, but they never came. It’s fine.

  • For the people who hated the performance and got really mad about it on social media – I don’t understand you. You’re allowed to dislike the performance and wish it was something more. But to go on and on about how much you hated it, and how it ruined your day – I don’t get it.

  • I think a lot of viewers expect these halftime performances to be huge, over the top productions like we’ve had in the last few years. Personally, I don’t need all of that. If Rihanna stood there without any dancers, just singing the songs, I would’ve still enjoyed it.

  • Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t want surprise appearances. If you’ve been chosen to perform during halftime at the Super Bowl, that’s your cue that you don’t need to bring anyone else with you.

  • I’m not sure you’ll ever find me going up and down on a platform high above the ground, like a real life Mario Party simulation, but at least everyone who did was tethered.

I didn’t know where to say it in this post, but the field conditions were embarrassing. I don’t want to hear that, “Well, both teams had to deal with the slippery field”. No. Neither team should’ve had to put up with it.

You’re the NFL; it’s the Super Bowl. Perfection is the only expectation.

All in all, it was a great game and a fitting end to a wild NFL season.

Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts on the Super Bowl? Did you enjoy the halftime show?

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Super Bowl LVII

Maybe it’s just me, but it feels like there hasn’t been an NFL game on TV for months. The calendar assures me it has only been two weeks; can we really trust calendars, though?

Yes – yes we can.

The Super Bowl is here! This one is for all the marbles. The whole kit and caboodle. All the idioms!

I don’t really have a preview for you – there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said 50 times over the past two weeks.

So, I’ll keep it brief and close with one of my favourite Super Bowl memories.

I think we’re in for a doozy of a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles. I know the Super Bowl is never the best game of the year, but I have high hopes for this one.

The Chiefs offence versus the Eagles defence is going to be fun.

Get ready for the slow motion replays of defensive linemen landing on Patrick Mahomes and laying on his injured right ankle a bit longer than necessary. They are coming.

I don’t think the Chiefs are going to have the luxury of a running game to get them into the flow of the game. It’s going to be on Mahomes from the start. I’m expecting about 45+ passing attempts from him.

I’m curious to see how Jalen Hurts performs on the big stage. An advantage he has is his ability to run the ball. He doesn’t have to force throws early on. He can take off and run with it and make an impact on the game, even if he’s nervous.

How are all the rookies on the Chiefs defence going to respond to the bright lights? The secondary is going to have to be ready because I don’t think Hurts is going to hold on to the ball long enough for Chris Jones and the defensive line to get to him. He’s going to roll out or make a quick pass.

No matter how the game goes, I’m expecting a frantic finish in the fourth quarter. This game isn’t going to be a blowout. It’s going to come down to the very end.

I hope the kickers sleep well tonight and calm their nerves because it could come down to them.

Fun-ish fact: Both kickers were born in 1995. That means, their earliest memories are probably from 1999, so can we really consider them 90s kids? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Overall, I just want a good game.

I am a Chiefs fan, so I am hoping they win, but if they lose I won’t be devastated. If Eagles win, I’d be happy for them and their fans.

Being from Canada, it’s hard for me to have the same level of emotional attachment for a team as those who grew up with an NFL team in their city. I’m sure other Canadians live and die by their NFL team of choice, but it’s not like that for me.

I need a geographical connection in order to feel like someone’s punched me in the stomach when we lose an important game.

I do want to see Mahomes make a run at Tom Brady’s seven Super Bowl rings, so getting his second ring tomorrow would help in that respect.

My prediction is incredibly biased, but here it is.

Prediction: Chiefs Win, 27-24

Extra Prediction: The halftime show begins with Rihanna rising up from beneath the stage in a silver dress that shines bright like a diamond, as she sings, “Shine bright like a diamond.” You heard it here first.

Quick story!

In 2011 – so, university days – we had a Super Bowl viewing party in the lounge at the end of our hall. We were a tight-knit group that year, so there were probably about 30 people that came in and out.

This was Super Bowl XLV, where the Packers defeated the Steelers.

The planning started that morning. I decided I was going to buy pizza for everyone with some extra money I had on my meal plan. We could use our meal card at some off-campus restaurants, so that was great.

I ordered 15 pizzas (might have been 18, but let’s go with 15 for this story) and I believe there were also a couple of boxes of cinnamon sticks.

Why so many pizzas? Because 12 of us wanted our own individual pizza. That’s what we had been doing all school year whenever we ordered pizza, so it made sense to us.

Plus, the pizza place had a deal where if you bought two large three-topping pizzas, they were both cheaper. So, we did that deal…six times.

As for the other three pizzas, those were communal pizzas for anyone who was showing up but didn’t want a whole pizza for themselves.

Getting everyone’s order and writing it out, was the smoothest group project I’d ever been apart of. We called in the order early in the afternoon – around 1:30PM – went through all 15 orders one by one, and gave them a time we wanted them to arrive.

It all worked out perfectly. There is a photo somewhere of 15 pizza boxes stacked up on a table and it’s beautiful.

As for the room set up – the dinky fat back TV provided by the school wasn’t going to cut it for the Super Bowl. Someone had a large flat screen TV in their room and offered to bring it to the lounge, so that’s what we did.

We put the TV on the little table the other TV had been on and…it was too low to the ground.

So, we put the little table on top of a bigger table. I swear, we were building a pyramid just to make sure the TV was high enough so people could see it from the back of the room.

As for seating – we had the typical residence couches – benches, if you will. Three seats per bench. Normally, they were around the perimeter of the room, but we remodelled and created two aisles of about six rows.

It was snug. It was perfect. It was fun. There wasn’t a bad seat in the house.

I’ll never forget it.

Enjoy the Super Bowl!

What are some of your Super Bowl memories?

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NFL Snapshots: Championship Sunday (2023)

The AFC Championship game was great, while the NFC Championship game was just something that happened.

In the end, we’re getting the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII, which is probably the best matchup we could’ve ended up with. They were both the top seed in their respective conferences, each have a Kelce on the team, and then there’s the Andy Reid connection.

You’re probably already tired of the storylines. It’s fine.

In non-conference championship news, Tom Brady retired today. If this is really the end, then it’s been a fun ride and I look forward to hearing him call games on FOX.

If he changes his mind in two months and decides to come back for another year, then all the power to him! Let people do what they enjoy for as long as they want.

Cincinnati Bengals (Lost at Chiefs, 23-20)
The Bengals did not look like the Bengals. Turnovers, no running game, and 0 yards in the first quarter. And yet, they were seconds away from the game going to overtime, if not for a late hit on Patrick Mahomes as he ran out of bounds, to set up the game-winning field goal.

Kansas City Chiefs (Won vs. Bengals, 23-20)
The Chiefs basically Planes, Trains, and Automobile’d their way to a win. Three wide receivers went down with injury – one more and I would’ve had to take the field. That’s how dire it was. The team was clearly motivated by all the trash talk from the Bengals – and their mayor – all week. The defence stepped up, the rookies stepped up, and Mahomes – with one good ankle – did enough to get it done. It’s a good thing he has two weeks to rest up, though, because the Eagles defensive line is probably salivating at the thought of chasing around a hobbled QB on the biggest stage.

Philadelphia Eagles (Won vs. 49ers, 31-7)
The story will be that the Eagles have had an easy route to the Super Bowl. Sure, the opponents and circumstances they’ve faced over the last two weeks have made advancing a lot easier for them. But this is the #1 seed in the NFC. They have looked dominant and rightfully deserve their place in the Super Bowl.

San Francisco 49ers (Lost at Eagles, 31-7)
Well, it wasn’t much of a game. Brock Purdy got hurt in the 1st quarter and then 4th string quarterback Josh Johnson got hurt in the 3rd quarter. Purdy came back in and couldn’t throw the ball…and they desperately needed to throw the ball. It’s probably the most disappointing way to lose a game because if you get beat when everyone’s healthy – fine, you weren’t good enough. Move on and improve. But to not even have a real shot – that stings.

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NFL Championship Sunday Preview (2023)

Welcome to Championship Sunday! Before you put a dent in your couch for the next seven hours, please enjoy my preview of today’s games.

Kansas City ChiefsPhiladelphia Eagles
Buffalo BillsSan Francisco 49ers
Cincinnati BengalsMinnesota Vikings
Jacksonville JaguarsTampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles ChargersDallas Cowboys
Baltimore RavensNew York Giants
Miami DolphinsSeattle Seahawks

San Francisco 49ers (2) at Philadelphia Eagles (1)

The 49ers proved last week what we already knew – their defence can win them games. They are going to need that defence to come up big for them against the Eagles.

I just quickly looked through the 49ers schedule this season and couldn’t really find a game in which they faced a QB with the scrambling ability of Hurts. That doesn’t mean they can’t, or won’t, stop him. It just means they haven’t seen someone like him this year.

Brock Purdy didn’t have a big game against the Cowboys last week, but he did enough. I am struggling to believe that a similar performance this week will be enough to beat the Eagles. His offensive weapons are elite and if he gets the ball to them quickly, then it’s in their hands to make plays.

That is the goal of their offence. Let Purdy do less. If the Eagles force Purdy to do more, we are going to find out once and for all what he can do. Will he rise to the challenge and take down one of the best defences in the league? Or will he finally play the role of “last pick in the draft” that people have been waiting for?

I expect the fans to be all over Purdy, but will it phase him? Probably not. Everything he’s shown so far is that nothing is too much for him. The Philly fans will try to break him; let’s see if they succeed.

Anything can happen. That is why they play the games. That is why we watch.

As for the Eagles, Jalen Hurts became an MVP-candidate and a superstar this season. A playoff win against the Giants is all well and good, but it’s the Giants. If he loses to the 49ers, he’ll still be a superstar, but we both know that the discourse around him will slowly become, “Can he beat good teams in the playoffs?”

Let’s just nip that in the bud before it can bloom and take down the 49ers today. He has the ability. He has a great supporting cast around him. He has the defence behind him. He has the home field advantage. Come on, Jalen. One win and you’re in the Super Bowl.

Personally, I like both teams and wouldn’t mind either of them in the Super Bowl. Both would be great stories.

Prediction: Eagles win, 24-17

Cincinnati Bengals (3) at Kansas City Chiefs (1)

All roads lead to Arrowhead, or if you’re the Bengals – Burrowhead.

There is a part of me that feels like we’re all going to be thinking the same thing on February 13 – the day after the Super Bowl. It’s, “Of course the Bengals won the Super Bowl. They were the best, most complete team. We should’ve seen it coming.”

We’ll see, though. There are three games left on the NFL schedule and the Bengals have to win two of them. They aren’t lacking confidence, that’s for sure.

Joe Burrow is 3-0 against the Chiefs and boy oh boy, the Bengals are letting all of us know they are not afraid to poke the bear. They are not afraid of the Chiefs, Arrowhead, Mahomes – nothing.

In most cases in sport, I would say their ego is getting too big and they are setting themselves up for failure, but not in this case. I think the Bengals thrive off of this mentality. Heck, they were salty immediately following last week’s game, telling people they hope they get a refund for purchasing tickets to the neutral site game in Atlanta.

I think they’ve been out to prove a point since losing the Super Bowl last year and we’re finally seeing all of it come out.

As for the Chiefs, we got Zapruder film shots of Patrick Mahomes and his right ankle this week. By all accounts, he’s feeling better than last week. That’s great. He’s going to need that ankle to elude everything the Bengals are going to send at him.

The Chiefs defence will give up points. Their offence needs to keep up and they are capable of that. We’ve seen it over and over and over again.

So what does this game come down to?

I don’t know.

My best guess is it’s going to come down to a battle in the trenches, specifically the battle between the Bengals offensive line and the Chiefs defensive line. A “key to victory” for the Chiefs will be Chris Jones, George Karlaftis, et al. gaining the upper hand over a Bengals o-line that will be without at least a couple of starters.

Put pressure on Joe Burrow and don’t let him play pitch and catch with his great receivers.

On the other side, the Chiefs have to keep Mahomes safe. He is precious cargo. Handle with care.

I’m curious to see – and hear – what the crowd is going to be like after an entire week of being referred to as Burrowhead. Surely, every Chiefs fan is going to be screaming for 3 hours straight, right? If the place goes quiet at all, the Bengals sideline is going to be so proud of themselves. It’s a game within the game.

I wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of Bengals fans made the trip. They seemed to have a large presence in Orchard Park last week.

As I get to my game prediction, I am legally obligated to remind all of you that I am a Chiefs fan. Therefore, the rule against bias do not apply to me.

I want the Chiefs to win, but I’m also cognizant of the fact that the Bengals are their kryptonite.

I have to pick my team.

Prediction: Chiefs win, 30-27

Enjoy the games! Who do you think is going to the Super Bowl?

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2023 Royal Rumble Predictions

World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) 36th annual Royal Rumble event takes place this evening at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. It will mark the third time the event has been held at the Alamodome, most recently in 2017.

For those who don’t know, the Royal Rumble is a match in which 30 participants compete to be the last one standing. The match starts with two wrestlers in the ring and every 90 seconds, another wrestler enters. An elimination occurs when a wrestler is thrown over the top rope and both feet touch the ground.

There is a match for the men, and as of 2018, there is a match for the women. The winner receives a match against the champion of their choosing at WrestleMania.

The is my favourite WWE event of the year. They will announce about 15 names ahead of time who are going to be in the Royal Rumble, but there are always surprises and people we haven’t seen in years. The suspense of not knowing who’s coming out next, gets me every time.

This will be the first Royal Rumble with Triple H as the Head of Creative, which means we could be in for one of the best Rumbles ever. He has sparked life in the WWE product ever since taking over for Vince McMahon last year.

The storylines had gotten so stale. I don’t even know if I can call them storylines. It was just the same matches every week. There was little to no meaning behind anything.

But ever since Triple H took over, things have been much better. Fans knew this would be the case because we’ve seen the great job he’s done with NXT (WWE Developmental) for years.

The Roman Reigns-Bloodline-Sami Zayn-Kevin Owens storyline right now is one of the most compelling things WWE has put on TV in a very long time. It’s too long and complicated to explain here, just know there is some incredible storytelling going on.

Okay fine – long story, short:

Roman Reigns has been the Undisputed WWE Universal Champion for almost 900 days. He carries the top championship belt for both the RAW and SmackDown brands. It’s gotten annoying because he’s not there every week and is basically holding the championships hostage.

He is surrounded by his real life cousins, The Usos (Jimmy and Jey), and Solo Sikoa. Sikoa and The Use are brothers. For those of you who watched the WWE in the early 2000s, their father is Rikishi.

The Usos are undisputed tag team champions. Sikoa is the enforcer.

Oh, Paul Heyman is also there as “The Wise Man”. He’s basically their manager, but he doesn’t like to be referred to as a manager.

Within this Bloodline faction is an outsider named, Sami Zayn. He has the title of, Honorary Uce. He has been by their side for about 9 months and he sees himself as a valuable member.

However, the whole time, it has felt like Reigns has been keeping Zayn close just because he wants layers of protection. When he needs help, or wants someone to do his dirty work, Zayn is there.

And then there is Kevin Owens. He is Sami Zayn’s real life best friend. They’ve been both friends and enemies in the WWE. Currently, Owens has been trying to get through to Zayn, telling him the Bloodline is using him. Zayn has been steadfast in saying, “They love me. We are family.”

That is slowly starting to dissolve, as Reigns is paranoid that Zayn is in cahoots with Owens. Owens is set to have a match with Reigns tonight with the titles on the line. On Monday, Reigns said he has one last test for Zayn to prove that he is 100% with the Bloodline and that test will come at the Royal Rumble.

So, here we are.

We expect that Reigns will want Zayn to help him at some point during his match with Owens. But we also expect that Zayn may not comply and will take Owens’ side. That could happen tonight. Or, it could be put off until the next premium live event – Elimination Chamber – which will be taking place in Zayn’s and Owens’ hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada on February 18.

Got all that?

There are so many layers and so many different avenues this story can go. There is also the possibility that Zayn enters the Royal Rumble and wins it. If he does, that puts him on a direction collision course with Reigns.

As much as I’d like to see it, I don’t think Zayn vs. Reigns will be the main event at WrestleMania. It should be, but history tells us the WWE likes to put two huge names in that spot. While Zayn may be deserving in the eyes of die hard fans, it might be harder to sell to the casual fan who just looks for name recognition.

This is where I insert the Daniel Bryan story about how the fans hijacked shows and forced the WWE to put him in the main event of WrestleMania XXX in 2014. A similar movement may occur if Zayn a) isn’t in the Rumble or b) enters, but doesn’t win it.

That was a lot.

I’m going to go over my thoughts and predictions for the Men’s and Women’s Royal Rumble matches, respectively.

Let’s start with the Men’s Royal Rumble.

Winner Prediction: Cody Rhodes

The American Nightmare, Cody Rhodes (son of The American Dream, Dusty Rhodes) returned to WWE at last year’s WrestleMania after helping to launch their main competitor, All Elite Wrestling (AEW), in 2019. It was a big coup – something no one ever saw coming.

Rhodes suffered a torn right pectoral just a few days before a Hell in a Cell match with Seth Rollins last year. He went ahead and did the match while injured. The right side of his body was purple and red and every dark colour a bruise normally is. It was as gruesome as gruesome gets.

He has been out ever since. However, he returns at the Royal Rumble and has been getting a vignette shown for the past several weeks. They are really hyping him up. And the reason why his return isn’t a surprise is because WWE is allegedly happy with the surprises they have lined up.

So, unless The Rock comes out during the Rumble, I think Rhodes is winning it. There isn’t anyone else I can see who make sense.

Maybe only Sami Zayn? If Zayn is in the match and loses, the crowd may turn on whoever ends up winning. There is precedence. So, as much as the fans love Cody – Zayn is the hot act right now.

GUNTHER? (Yes, his name is written in all caps).

Back to The Rock.

The rumoured WrestleMania match, for years, has been The Rock vs. his cousin Roman Reigns. It would fit perfectly with the whole Bloodline story going on. But The Rock said a few days ago that there’s not enough time for him to get into ring shape for this year’s WrestleMania.

That’s fair. Being in shape and being in ring shape are two very different things.

My problem is, he’s known for years that the WWE wants him for WrestleMania. He shouldn’t have been caught off-guard.

Unless he’s swerving all of us and will be in the Royal Rumble tonight. Ahhhhh.

Predicting Surprise Entrants

Stone Cold Steve Austin: I think there is a better than 50% chance he’s in the match. He won’t win, but it may kickstart a program with someone else, culminating in a match at WrestleMania. We’ve been hearing rumours that he may be open to another match, after coming out of retirement at last year’s WrestleMania.

Jay White: He’s one of the best professional wrestlers not in the WWE. He’s best known for his work with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). Reports indicate he is expected to leave NJPW when his contract expires, which is apparently any day now. He is only 30-years-old and would immediately become a top guy who can carry the torch for the next 10 days.

John Cena: I think he’s going to have a match at WrestleMania this year. Logan Paul (yes, you read that correctly) and current United States Champion Austin Theory (a young Cena, sorta), have been rumoured opponents.

Logan Paul: He’s actually a really good wrestler.

Pat McAfee: He’s the colour commentator on SmackDown, but has been away since the start of the College Football season due to his commitments with College GameDay. His return seems imminent, and since he’s been in the ring before, a surprise entry would be fun.

Edge: We haven’t seen him in a few months; it’s time to come back.

Tommaso Ciampa: He disappeared from TV many months ago and no one really knows what happened.

Bron Breakker (Current NXT Champion): He’s the son of Rick Steiner and nephew of Scott Steiner, if that rings a bell for you. He’s really good and will be a top guy for a long time when he gets called up.

Carmelo Hayes (NXT): He should be on the main roster soon.

Joe Gacy (NXT): Another bright star in NXT.

Grayson Waller (NXT): He’s challenging Bron Breakker for the championship next week at Vengeance Day, so I don’t know if they’d put both of them in this match.

Rhea Ripley: Yes, she’s a woman but women have been in the Men’s Royal Rumble match before (Chyna, Nia Jax). In recent weeks, she’s found herself in the ring with men and begged them to fight her. They don’t, but she’s not intimidated. I think this is WWE’s way of preparing us for her appearance in the men’s match.

Let’s discuss the Women’s Royal Rumble match now.

Winner Prediction: Rhea Ripley

If not her, who? I’d love to see someone like Liv Morgan win it, but I don’t think that’s in the cards.

I think she’ll be in both matches and that will be a part of the headline when she wins.

Predicting Surprise Entrants

Naomi: Her story is too long to get into here, but if she were ever to return to the WWE, this is the moment to do it.

Carmella: The women’s division has missed her energy.

Doudrop: She recently spoke about her Covid-related health scare that has kept her out of the ring. It would be good to see her back.

Candice Michelle: The WWE brought back a bunch of women from previous eras to compete in the Women’s Rumble match since they started doing it in 2018. Candice Michelle hasn’t gotten the call yet, surprisingly. She deserves to be in there. I hope this is the year.

Roxanne Perez (Current NXT Champion): Roxanne is the future of WWE. She’s from Laredo, Texas…which in wrestling geography is close enough to San Antonio to make her a hometown favourite.

Cora Jade (NXT): Roxanne’s best friend turned enemy. She is also the future of WWE.

Tiffany Stratton (NXT): She is a former gymnast and has only been wrestling for a year. When I say she is already great, I am underselling it. The word “Star” is written all over her. She’s going to win a Royal Rumble match in the future, mark my words.

Wendy Choo (NXT): Wendy Choo needed to be on the main roster yesterday. She wrestles in a onesie and is a nap aficionado. Her comedic style is wonderful.

Indi Hartwell (NXT): She’s another superstar who should be on her way up to the main roster any day now.

Sol Ruca (NXT): She made her wrestling debut in 2022 and her athleticism is off the charts. She’d be perfect for the Royal Rumble.

There are more names I could’ve listed for both the men and women, but I think this is enough.

It should be a fun night.

Thank you for reading!

Who do you think will win the Royal Rumble?

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NFL Snapshots: Divisional Round (2023)

Two quick things before I get to the Snapshots.

1. The weather for the Bengals vs. Bills game was perfect. When I say I want a Snow Game, that is what I want.

2. If the NFL decides to go through with their idea of hosting every championship game at a neutral site in the future, it will be awful. Not for them – they’ll make millions – but for the rest of us. Please don’t do it. Please forget you ever had this idea.

Buffalo Bills (Lost 27-10 vs. Bengals)
The defence couldn’t stop the Bengals. The offence couldn’t score enough points to keep up. I expect the Bills to make upgrades to their offence over the offseason. If Josh Jacobs wants to go to Buffalo, get him. It can’t be the Josh Allen Show forever and always. Give him a running game to lean on.

Cincinnati Bengals (Won 27-10 at Bills)
The Bengals are just clinical and precise and unrelenting. They’re like Dexter. Remember that show? Their defence is so good and it feels like no one noticed until this week. There is a lot to like about this team and the Chiefs should be concerned next week.

Dallas Cowboys (Lost 19-12 at 49ers)
I’ve never quite understood the hate that Dak Prescott receives. The Cowboys offence underwhelms me, outside of Tony Pollard and Ceedee Lamb. Pollard went down with a fractured left fibula and a high ankle sprain in the first half. They looked lost without him.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Lost 27-20 at Chiefs)
I am proud of the Jaguars. They got themselves in the playoffs, won a home game, and then went into Arrowhead and didn’t look out of place. This season was a huge step in the right direction.

Kansas City Chiefs (Won 27-20 vs. Jaguars)
Patrick Mahomes could probably find Travis Kelce on a football field with his eyes closed. I don’t know if this connection can be stopped, but if the Bengals find a way to slow them down, the Chiefs’ receivers will need to step up.

New York Giants (Lost 38-7 at Eagles)
What was that?

Philadelphia Eagles (Won 38-7 vs. Giants)
Dominant. That’s what that was. It was an, “In case you forgot who we are” game and the Eagles needed it.

San Francisco 49ers (Won 19-12 vs. Cowboys)
Statistically, Brock Purdy had the worst start of his career, but he didn’t turn the ball over and made good throws. The defence shut down the Cowboys and now they’re off to Philadelphia.

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NFL Divisional Round Preview (2023)

I write the introduction to these posts at the very end, which means I’m going to cut this one short, since the first game is about to kick-off.

Kansas City ChiefsPhiladelphia Eagles
Buffalo BillsSan Francisco 49ers
Cincinatti BengalsMinnesota Vikings
Jacksonville JaguarsTampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles ChargersDallas Cowboys
Baltimore RavensNew York Giants
Miami DolphinsSeattle Seahawks

Jacksonville Jaguars (4) at Kansas City Chiefs (1)

I don’t think the Jaguars are going to be able to cope with the atmosphere at Arrowhead. Trevor Lawrence acknowledged that it is one of, if not the best, atmospheres in the NFL. However, he also said he can’t imagine it’ll be much louder than Jacksonville was last Saturday.

They should’ve cut off his microphone at the podium before that last line. All week, I’ve been seeing things like, “Hey Chiefs fans, let’s break our own decibel record on Saturday.”

He just poked about 75,000 bears.

The Chiefs should be well rested and I expect them to come out firing. A score of 21-0 after the 1st quarter would not surprise me.

I’m sure the Jaguars are going into the game with a “Let’s shock the world mentality” and that’s great, but reality is going to take over. The Chiefs have been there and done that (multiple times), while the Jaguars are fresh on the seen.

If nothing else, this will be a good experience for the Jaguars. They’ll get it out of their system and know what to expect in the future.

Prediction: Chiefs Win, 38-17

New York Giants (6) at Philadelphia Eagles (2)

First of all, I must touch upon the breaking news from this morning. As of 11:18 AM, the Giants team hotel had no water. They couldn’t shower. Probably couldn’t flush the toilet. There was a busted pipe.

At 12:04 PM, it was revealed that the water was back on.

What effect will this have on the game tonight? Are the Giants’ body clocks thrown off? Do they think a saboteur was on the loose? Have Scooby and the gang found the guilty party hanging out in the basement of the hotel, with a mask on?

Something like this would happen before a big soccer game. Not the Scooby Doo part (but maybe). I’ve seen the stories of fans blaring sirens and horns, and setting off fireworks outside a visiting countries hotel the night before a match. Anything to get an advantage.

I’m overhyping this. I’m sure the Giants are fine.

The Eagles were rolling through the first 15 weeks of the season, and then Jalen Hurts injured his shoulder. He sat for two games – the Eagles lost both – and returned in Week 18 against the Giants to end the regular season with a win.

My question is: are the Eagles back in rhythm? Will it take them a few series to get going, or are they going to come out flying and put everyone’s doubts to rest?

For a team that finished atop the NFC, they seem to have been lapped by the 49ers as the team to beat. I feel like the Eagles are ready to plant their flag and make a statement.

The Giants are going to go into Philadelphia and be unbothered by the atmosphere. They are division rivals. There are no secrets between these two teams. To that end, I’m sure each team probably has a trick play, or two, to unveil at some point.

If Daniel Jones can get out in space and run the ball, then the Eagles defence is going to have a tough time getting off the field. That being said, I could write the exact same sentence about Jalen Hurts

This game could come down to who has the ball last and how the wind is blowing at the time of a game-winning field goal.

Last week, my heart said Giants, but I went with the Vikings.

This week…

Prediction: Giants Win, 27-24

Cincinnati Bengals (3) at Buffalo Bills (2)

This could be the best game of the year. I have no clue what’s going to happen.

The Bills defence goes from Waddle and Hill last week, to Chase and Higgins this week. And then if they win, they probably get Mahomes next week. If the Bills make it to the Super Bowl, they will have run the gauntlet.

I don’t think either team was able to fully spread their wings last week and put forth a complete playoff performance. This week, they’ll be ready for each other.

I can’t even put into words what this game will be because I can see the teams going back and forth the entire way. They’ll each lean on their playmakers – I think Josh Allen is going to lean on Stefon Diggs and Gabe Davis a lot.

He got into trouble last week when he threw to John Brown and Cole Beasley – two receivers who came in midway through the year.

I’m just over here drooling at what this game is going to be. Whichever defence makes a big play at the right time, will win the game.

Prediction: Bengals Win, 34-28

Dallas Cowboys (5) at San Francisco 49ers (2)

The Cowboys will be Brock Purdy’s toughest test yet, by far. The 49ers sent the Cowboys packing last year inside Jerry World, but I don’t know how much last year’s game will contribute to this one.

Will it give the Cowboys extra motivation? I feel like they’d have enough motivation, but if last year’s loss is something they’ve wanted to avenge and this is their chance…well then maybe they do come out with more intensity and focus.

The 49ers will go into this game with 8 days of rest, while the Cowboys will have had 6 days of rest. I’ll defer to professional athletes for what that means. However, from my perspective, it seems unfair for obvious reasons.

The Cowboys made a statement against the Buccaneers and if they defeat the 49ers, it’ll be an even bigger one.

Could you imagine an all-NFC East conference championship game next week? Unbelievable. For many years, it was the little division that couldn’t. And now, here they are on our television sets in the playoffs.

Just like the Bengals-Bills game, I really have no clue how this game is going to go.

Prediction: Cowboys Win, 27-21

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NFL Snapshots: Super Wild Card Weekend (2023)

I don’t care if the #7 seed is winless since the NFL expanded the playoffs to seven teams, I enjoy having six playoff games to watch on wild card weekend, rather than four.

It’s like an elongated appetizer course, before we get the entrée, known as the divisional round.

Baltimore Ravens (Lost at Bengals, 24-17)
Tyler Huntley tried to go over the top on a QB Sneak from the 1-yard line, which resulted in a fumble return touchdown for the Bengals. After the game, J.K. Dobbins expressed his frustrations over not getting the ball in the red zone. He said Huntley should’ve never been put in that position. He’s not wrong.

Buffalo Bills (Won vs. Dolphins, 34-31)
No one thought the Bills would lose, but no one thought they’d only win by 3 points, either. Never mind the fact that they gave up 31 points to a team starting their 3rd string rookie quarterback. However, the sky is not falling in Buffalo. The Dolphins were very opportunistic in how they scored their points, which means if the Bills can clean up their turnovers, they’ll be okay. Hopefully, they got them out of their system because the Bengals are coming to town.

Cincinatti Bengals (Won vs. Ravens, 24-17)
The Bengals had a hard time moving the ball against the Ravens, but won the game with Sam Hubbard’s 98-yard fumble-return touchdown. Now, they get the Bills, which could be the game of the weekend.

Dallas Cowboys (Won at Buccaneers, 31-14)
It was basically a squash match on Monday night. Brett Maher missing four extra points in a row was a strange subplot.

Jacksonville Jaguars (Won vs. Chargers, 31-30)
Trevor Lawrence threw 4 interceptions in the first half and it reminded me of myself playing Madden. Despite that, and a 27 point deficit, the Jaguars came back to win. They aren’t going to go into Arrowhead this week and defeat the Chiefs – even though Lawrence is undefeated on Saturdays – but it’ll be a great learning experience for them.

Kansas City Chiefs (Bye)
I’m sure the Chiefs know everything the Jaguars run on offence and defence, so I fully expect them to come out firing early. Don’t be surprised if it’s 21-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. Arrowhead is going to be loud, especially since Trevor Lawrence said he doesn’t expect it to be that much louder than Jacksonville. He poked the bear.

Los Angeles Chargers (Lost at Jaguars, 31-30)
Ohhh, so this is the Chargers everyone was concerned about. Got it. They blew a 27-0 lead, which should never happen. These teams need to stop being so timid on offence when they have a big lead. Throw the ball – go score more points.

Miami Dolphins (Lost at Bills, 34-31)
This game took about 4 hours to play. Sorry, I just wanted to get that in there. I think the Dolphins and their fans could be proud of the game they played, given the circumstances.

Minnesota Vikings (Lost vs. Giants, 31-24)
The Vikings are who we thought they were.

New York Giants (Won at Vikings, 31-24)
Daniel Jones controlled the game and the Vikings defence didn’t put up much resistance. The Giants get the Eagles in the division round, who they aren’t going to be intimidated by.

Philadelphia Eagles (Bye)
The fact that Jalen Hurts wasn’t on the injury report this week is a good sign. If the Eagles can fall back into who they were for the first 15 weeks of the season, they’ll be just fine.

San Francisco 49ers (Won vs. Seahawks, 41-23)
It feels like everyone is just waiting for Brock Purdy to throw three interceptions, have a bad game, and finally fit the description of the last pick in the draft. He remains undefeated and has thrown at least 2 touchdowns in every game since taking over.

Seattle Seahawks (Lost at 49ers, 41-23)
Well, now they need to decide if they’re going to commit to Geno Smith, or find another quarterback.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Lost vs. Cowboys, 31-14)
I don’t know why this team couldn’t get on the same page this year. Maybe I’m putting too much stock in name value. If Tom Brady plays next season, I’d say there’s about a 0.2% chance it’s with the Buccaneers.

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NFL Super Wild Card Weekend Preview (2023)

I don’t want to waste too many words on an introduction, since this post is all about the six games taking place over the next three days. So, we’ll get to those as quickly as possible.

When it comes to sports, I like stats, but I believe any team, on any day, can win any game. So, when I make my predictions, I’m going with my instincts.

Without any further word usage, it’s time for SUUUPER Wild Card Weekend. The NFL should’ve gotten Tony Chimel to say “SUUUPER” for them. If you don’t get that reference, you’re probably not a wrestling fan.

Enjoy the games and good luck to your team, if they’re in it!

Kansas City ChiefsPhiladelphia Eagles
Buffalo BillsSan Francisco 49ers
Cincinatti BengalsMinnesota Vikings
Jacksonville JaguarsTampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles ChargersDallas Cowboys
Baltimore RavensNew York Giants
Miami DolphinsSeattle Seahawks

Seattle Seahawks (7) at San Francisco 49ers (2)

The first thing I saw on TV today was that it was raining in The Bay and I thought, “So? Tampa Bay doesn’t play until Monday.” And then I woke up and realized they were talking about the Bay Area.

My initial reaction was that Seattle, as a city, is more accustomed to rain than San Francisco. I was starting to convince myself that this would be an advantage for the Seahawks. They could muck it up. They could find themselves in a low-scoring game of 13-10 and escape with the win.

But then I snapped back to what I’ve felt since I saw this matchup – the 49ers are going to win.

If it is a rainy and windy affair, where ball control and possession rue the day, then the 49ers are equipped to play that style of football. They won’t hesitate to give Christian McCaffrey 20+ touches. They won’t hesitate to run quick slants to Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk. They won’t hesitate to find George Kittle in the flat and let him fight for yards.

To steal a baseball term, they will “small ball” it up with the best of them. Heck, that’s basically their game plan on bright, sunny days. The 49ers offence will be just fine.

I think the wet conditions hinder the Seahawks because they can’t afford to be predictable against the 49ers defence. A wet field also slows down a scrambling Geno Smith.

This is just what I think. Maybe the field isn’t that bad. I heard they have a great drainage system, so everything I’ve written could go down the drain and we could see the Seahawks come out on top.

Prediction: 49ers Win, 23 – 14

Los Angeles Chargers (5) at Jacksonville Jaguars (4)

The Chargers decided to play their starters in a meaningless Week 18 game and it cost them one of their top two wide receivers. Mike Williams is out with a fractured back.

I’m not here to call for anyone’s job or insist that someone should be fired, but how does the Chargers management team (at all levels) allow this to happen? You had nothing to play for. Williams had already been banged up during the season. Why is he out there?

Weeks ago, I said that the Chargers receivers have a significant size advantage over opposing secondaries. Williams is 6’4. A quick scan of the cornerbacks and safeties of the Jaguars tells me he would’ve had anywhere from a 3-6 inch height advantage.

Oh, well. That’s out the window now.

If these teams weren’t playing each other, I’d want both of them to win. I like both teams that much.

I believe the Chargers offence will be fine as long as Justin Herbert is locked in from the start. I know it’s his first playoff game, but he can’t afford to wait until midway through the second quarter to get things going.

Feed Austin Ekeler, find Keenan Allen, and hit Joshua Palmer in stride, and you’ll be fine.

On the Jacksonville side of things, they must be riding high after winning the division at home last week. I just hope they didn’t peak with that moment. I don’t want them to go into this game thinking, “We’re at home, we’re just going to duplicate last week’s game.”

Can’t think like that.

Like the Chargers, the Jaguars can be dangerous on offence. If you want to look at the stats, you can look at the stats. My gut tells me the Jaguars might struggle to get things going in this game and “halftime adjustments” will be the theme of the broadcast.

Maybe the funk of two straight seasons at the bottom of the league is still lingering, but I feel like this game is akin to the first day of high school for them. Everything and everyone seems bigger. I don’t know if they’ll be able to handle it, until it’s too late.

Prediction: Chargers Win, 30 – 24

Miami Dolphins (7) at Buffalo Bills (2)

The Miami Dolphins were a really good story for the first three weeks of the season. Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle were doing their “best show on turf: grass edition” impersonation.

If you look at the Dolphins schedule this season, they: Won 3, Lost 3, Won 5, Lost 5, Won 1.

I’m going to spoil my prediction and tell you I think we can add a “Lost 1” to the end of that sequence and make it perfectly symmetrical because I think their chances of defeating the Bills is less than 0.

Why? Well, They’re starting their rookie third string quarterback, Skylar Thompson. Plus, they’re on the road, at Orchard Park, in front of Bills Mafia, with Josh Allen on the other side, and an entire franchise that is inspired by the recovery and presence of Damar Hamlin.

This is the definition of “stacking the deck”.

I’m sure the Dolphins won’t go down without a fight. It just won’t be a close fight. They won’t have Raheem Mostert, so Jeff Wilson Jr. is going to play a vital role in the running game. Beyond him, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle need to touch the ball as much as possible.

I don’t care if they have to run end-arounds and WR Screens on every other play, put the ball in their hands and let them be the YAC monsters that fantasy football managers know they are.

I do not believe the Bills are invincible, but this week, they are.

Prediction: Bills Win, 27 – 10

New York Giants (6) at Minnesota Vikings (3)

I finally figured out the Minnesota Vikings. They are the #2 seed in the NCAA March Madness tournament. Only they believe they were deserving of a #1 seed, while everyone else is like, “Yeah, they’re just lucky they got #2 in the first place.”

And then when everyone’s filling out their bracket, a small school with the 15th seed is a popular upset pick. Insert George Mason, Oral Roberts, etc. here.

The Vikings are the good team that you cannot trust. Their defence is going to give up points. Their offence will have to try and keep up, which they are very well capable of doing. Let’s not discount Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook. When they are on, they are on.

But did the Packers give the rest of the league a blueprint as to how to stop Justin Jefferson? Maybe. We’ll see.

This is the perfect first matchup for the New York Giants because its a defence they can pick apart with Daniel Jones and Saquon Barkley. Will they? Again, we’ll see. I don’t think the Giants are going to be intimidated on either side of the football. I can see their defence making a big play early in the game that swings momentum their way.

The key for the Giants will be to hang onto the momentum as long as they can. They can’t get complacent or celebrate too soon. I don’t want to see the entire defence run to the other end zone for a photo session after an interception 8 minutes into the 1st quarter. You need to be more locked in than that.

This is a tough one for me to predict because my heart says Giants.

Prediction: Vikings Win, 34 – 28

Baltimore Ravens (6) at Cincinatti Bengals (3)

The Ravens are in the same boat as the Dolphins this week.

Lamar Jackson is out and Tyler Huntley is dealing with a shoulder issue, which means they may have to rely their rookie third string quarterback, Anthony Brown. Brown faced the Bengals last week and completed 19 of 44 passes for 286 yards and 2 interceptions.

The Ravens aren’t announcing who their starting quarterback will be ahead of Sunday. That leaves the door open for Huntley to start, but I think the Ravens are just playing games with the Bengals here and forcing them to prepare for two guys, “just in case”.

That’s fine. The Ravens need to play all the games they can think of. We talk about football being a game with three phases. Well, their defence and special teams need to score at least one touchdown on Sunday, if not more. Failing that, they need to put the offence in good field position.

I’m talking about drives that start near midfield, so all the Ravens need to do is run the ball 15-20 yards to get Justin Tucker in range. Don’t be surprised when the Ravens send him out to kick 59-yard field goals all day.

Sure, punting the ball away and playing the “field position battle” is important, but I’m trusting Tucker to make those long kicks, unless there is a swirling wind. The Ravens need to take the points as often as they can.

The Bengals are a great team. That’s it.

Prediction: Bengals Win, 24 – 12

Dallas Cowboys (5) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4)

I see the Dallas Cowboys as the older brother who dominates their younger sibling at sports, until they get bored and let them win some. And then they remember they get tired of their sibling’s incessant celebration, so they get back to squashing hopes and dreams.

In football terms, the Cowboys could put up 40 points whenever they want. But then there are times like in Week 18, where they put up 6 points against the Commanders and you wonder what happened.

I see the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as that person who goes places with their friends, but never initiates the plan to go out. Once they are out and about, they are fine and happy. But they aren’t the one to say, “Hey, let’s do this.” It is not in their nature.

What I mean by that is, the Buccaneers regularly found themselves in close games this season. It may have taken them three and a half quarters to get anything going, but once they did, they thrived. It’s like their opponent is pulling the performance out of them until they finally acquiesce.

Tom Brady is 7-0 against the Cowboys. I don’t know if that means anything, unless it does.

I think the Cowboys have a lot to prove, but I also think the Buccaneers have a lot to prove as well. We weren’t talking about a Tom Brady-led team this season the same way we normally do. I’m sure the Buccaneers want to change the narrative.

This is a tough one to pick because I could see two very different outcomes happening. The first one being the Cowboys blowing the doors off the Buccaneers and the cameras focussing on a dejected Tom Brady sitting on the bench in the 4th quarter as the commentators ask, “Is this it?”

Or, the Buccaneers will win a close game that will come down to the wire.

Prediction: Buccaneers Win, 30 – 27

Who are your picks to win this weekend?

Twitter: @CappyTalks

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NFL Snapshots: Week 18 (2022)

We have reached the end of the NFL regular season. I feel like I’ve described the last 18 weeks as “wild” so much that the word has lost all meaning. But it has been…wild untamed. See, I know synonyms.

I have thoroughly enjoyed doing this weekly recap of each team, even though I consistently posted it about 4 days late every time. Nevertheless, I always had it up before the Sunday slate of games – if I missed the Thursday nighter deadline – and I’m proud of that.

For those of you who have been reading these and commenting, I really appreciate it!

I do intend on having a playoff preview post before Saturday, so be on the lookout for that. I also need to talk about fantasy football. One thing at a time, though.

For now, here are my NFL Snapshots for Week 18.

Arizona Cardinals (4-13)
The Cardinals fired head coach Kliff Kingsbury on Monday, after signing him to a five-year extension just ten months ago. He has never had a .500 record in the second half of the season, which goes all the way back to his first year as head coach at Texas Tech in 2013. If he wants to coach in the NFL next year, I don’t think he’ll have a problem getting hired. The offensive coordinator position with the Patriots is the first that comes to mind. In other news, the Cardinals are reportedly going to include Kyler Murray in the hiring process for a new head coach. I’m not a fan of this – in any sport. Also, the team is expected to trade Deandre Hopkins in the offseason. He has a no-trade clause, so he’ll control where he goes.

Atlanta Falcons (7-10)
I think having young players like Desmond Ridder, Tyler Allgeier, Drake London, and Kyle Pitts should provide some optimism for next season. Unless they trade it, the Falcons will have the 8th pick in the draft. I’m 99% sure they’ll select a defensive player.

Baltimore Ravens (10-7)
For the last five weeks, the Ravens haven’t scored more than 17 points in a game. To their credit, the defence has been keeping them in games, but let’s be honest – the Ravens need Lamar Jackson in order to do anything in the playoffs. As of now, it doesn’t sound like he’s playing on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills (13-3)
Well, if you don’t believe in a higher power after Nyheim Hines took the opening kickoff all the way back for a touchdown – the Bills’ first kick return touchdown in 3 years and 3 months – then watch the highlights again until you do. Damar Hamlin #3, was jumping up and down, setting off alarms in the ICU, when it happened.

Carolina Panthers (7-10)
The Panthers ended the season with a 10-7 victory over the Saints. Sam Darnold finished the game with 5 completions for 43 yards, and 2 interceptions.

Chicago Bears (3-14)
Hey, remember when the Bears started the season 2-1? It feels like ages ago. Now, they hold the 1st pick in the draft.

Cincinatti Bengals (12-4)
No coin toss necessary; the Bengals will host the Ravens on wild card weekend.

Cleveland Browns (7-10)
The Browns went 3-3 with Deshaun Watson as their starting quarterback.

Dallas Cowboys (12-5)
It concerns me that the Cowboys only put up 6 points in a loss to the Commanders. Dak Prescott threw an interception in 10 of the 12 games in which he played this season. He also tied for the league lead in interceptions (15) with Davis Mills.

Detroit Lions (9-8)
I was wrong. And I knew I was wrong the moment the Lions ran through the tunnel and onto the field. I thought the Lions would be dejected if they went into the game knowing they didn’t have a shot at the playoffs. Instead, they were inspired. They went to Lambeau Field to send the Packers packing and that’s exactly what they did. Kudos to the Lions coaching staff and players for maintaining a winning attitude under those circumstances.

Denver Broncos (5-12)
The Broncos snapped a 7-game losing streak, ending the season with a win against the Chargers.

Green Bay Packers (8-9)
I don’t know if this is the end for Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, but if it is, maybe he will find his way to Las Vegas and reunite with Davante Adams. Or maybe the Raiders can just send Adams back to the Packers. I’m sure they didn’t call “no trade-backsies”.

Houston Texans (3-13-1)
The Texans won, which means they dropped to the 2nd pick in the draft. They fired their head coach, Lovie Smith. And Brandin Cooks is looking to be traded. Go back and read my Snapshots from the weeks around the trade deadline – I was saying they should do right by Cooks and trade him to a contender.

Indianapolis Colts (4-12-1)
The Colts own the 4th pick in the NFL Draft, which means they’re either going to keep it and select a quarterback, or they’re going to trade up and select a quarterback. As a result, they’re going to invest everything into developing this quarterback for at least the next two seasons. So, he better be a franchise guy. If not, they’re going to be in this exact same spot – if not worse – in 2025.

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-8)
The Good Place needs to come back for one special episode, just so we can see Jason Mendoza freaking out about the Jaguars making the playoffs. I am very happy for this team.

Kansas City Chiefs (14-3)
Patrick Mahomes 2021 stats: 436/658; 4839 yards, 37 TD, 13 INT; 12-5 record
Patrick Mahomes 2022 stats: 435/638; 5250 yards; 41 TD, 12 INT; 14-3 record

I’ll say this: I didn’t expect Mahomes’ numbers to be better without Tyreek Hill on the team.

Las Vegas Raiders (6-11)
Derek Carr said goodbye to the Raiders and their fans on Thursday, nine months after the team signed him to a 3-year extension.

Los Angeles Rams (5-12)
Sean McVay may be stepping away from coaching. An official decision will be coming soon. He’s only 36 years old and for the last few years, teams have been trying to find “the next Sean McVay.” That’s the type of impact he’s had.

Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)
The Chargers have dealt with injuries all season, but have gotten healthy down the stretch. They entered Week 18 locked into their playoff spot AND YET, they played their starters into the second half. Joey Bosa and Mike Williams both left with injuries. Bosa is okay, while Williams has a back injury, but will travel with the team to Jacksonville. This is a team that doesn’t play any of their regulars in the preseason and here they are playing them in a meaningless game, one week before the playoffs??

Miami Dolphins (9-8)
“Hello, Mr. Thompson.” That was a Simpsons reference. Skylar Thompson will be the Dolphins’ starting quarterback when they play the Bills in the wild card round. As if the uphill climb wasn’t steep enough, Raheem Mostert broke his thumb last week and we don’t know if he’ll play.

Minnesota Vikings (13-4)
The Vikings will host the Giants, which is a rematch of their Christmas Eve clash, where the Vikings won with a 61-yard field goal as time ran out.

New England Patriots (8-9)
I’ll give the Patriots some credit: their offence matched the Bills offence. The difference in the game was the two kick return touchdowns they gave up.

New Orleans Saints (7-10)
They brought in Jameis Winston to be the successor to Drew Brees. He was mentored for a year and was given a 2-year contract worth $28 million last offseason. He played the first 3 games of the season and that was it. The team went with Andy Dalton the rest of the way. Yes, Winston was dealing with injuries early in the season, but by Week 9 he was off the injury report. Maybe this is a case where there’s more going on than the public knows – which is probably the case most of the time – but on the surface, it leaves me with questions.

New York Giants (9-7-1)
The Giants are one win away from all of us saying, “The Vikings are who we thought they were.”

New York Jets (7-10)
There are so many teams who will be looking for a new starting quarterback next season, the NFL should turn it into a reality show.

Philadelphia Eagles (14-3)
The Eagles held on to the top seed in the NFC and earned the coveted Bye week.

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-8)
It was looking bleak for a while, but Mike Tomlin avoided a losing season once again.

San Francisco 49ers (13-4)
In 6 games with Brock Purdy at quarterback, the 49ers have scored fewer than 33 points just once.

Seattle Seahawks (9-8)
The Seahawks didn’t take the easy route to the playoffs, but they made it nonetheless.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-8)
If the Buccaneers had anyone else as their starting quarterback, I would have absolutely no faith in this team as they enter the playoffs. However, they have Tom Brady. You never doubt Tom Brady.

Tennessee Titans (7-10)
The Titans lost their last 7 games of the season, including the pivotal “loser leaves town” match against the Jaguars in Week 18.

Washington Commanders (8-8-1)
Rookie quarterback Sam Howell made his first NFL start and defeated the Dallas Cowboys. No matter what happens for the rest of his career, he’ll always have that memory and story to tell. I’m happy for him.

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