Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be giving my opinion on the Dwyane Wade signing for the Cleveland Cavaliers, and how I see him working in their system. Make sure to share this article because it helps TTR grow.
The Cleveland Cavaliers signed Dwyane Wade to a 1 year contract worth $2.3 million. This is being widely regarded as an incredible signing by the Cavs, and some are even saying this puts Cleveland in the Warriors league. I laugh at that notion. There is no question that adding a future Hall of Famer always makes you better, but I don't see how this makes the Cavs threatening to Golden State. Cleveland already lost some of its 3-point shooting by trading Irving, and now adding Dwyane Wade means (expecting he starts) that the Cavs starting five at the season opener will consist of Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, Kevin Love, and Tristan Thompson. Love is the only above average three shooter in that lineup, and even when Isaiah Thomas gets back on the court the lineup still isn't as threatening as it is when J.R. Smith is pulling the trigger from deep.
In no way am I saying that J.R. Smith is better than Dwyane Wade, but this signing means that Cleveland is going to significantly slow the pace this year. Instead of being an up tempo, 3-point shooting, modern offense, they will be reliant on iso play. Just like I mentioned earlier this week, the Thunder don't impress me too much due to their lack of 3-point shooting. The same applies to the Cavs here, and I just don't see how that is going to give them the edge against the Warriors.
Just to be clear, I think that this signing now gives the Cavs the edge over Boston to make the Finals this year (before I was undecided), and this is an upgrade overall for their lineup. To those, though, who say this is going to make a best of seven Cavs-Warriors Finals more competitive than it was last year, I say this gives Cleveland at best one more game. Wade is clutch down the stretch and that can definitely give this Cleveland team a couple extra wins this year, but it doesn't put them in the Warriors league.
Welcome to the Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be giving my thoughts on what has me most interested in the NFL right now. Tomorrow expect an article on Dwayne Wade and where I think he fits best. Also, make sure to share this article as it really helps TTR grow.
Patriots Comeback Victory:
A lot of people are using this win as a reason that the Pats are going to be the best team in the AFC this year. I understand that New England did a great job by coming back, but this should not be a game we look at and admire for Belichick's squad. Twice on the teams final drive Houston had a chance to end the game, once by forcing a fumble on Brady (the Pats eventually recovered the ball) and again by almost picking off one of his passes. Those two plays are a more accurate representation of how that game went for New England. The Houston defense was all over Brady, forcing turnovers left and right, and if it wasn't for broken coverage on two plays on the Pats final drive the Patriots would be 1-2 today. The Pats haven't been anywhere near perfect, so I think it's going to be interesting to see if this struggle continues throughout the year.
Chicago Steals a Game Versus the Steelers:
Chicago has been surprisingly good so far this year. Week one they almost knocked off the Falcons (currently 3-0), and now they just beat the Steelers. I'm not saying Chicago is going anywhere this year, but how is it that one of the least talented rosters in the NFL is keeping games close against the NFL's elite? I want to see more of this Bears team as the season goes on.
Kansas City Stays Unbeaten:
The Chiefs are currently one of two unbeaten teams left in the NFL right now (the Atlanta Falcons are also 3-0) and a lot of people are jumping on the hype train. This teams offense has looked more than potent with Kareem Hunt tearing up opposing defenses, as well as Alex Smith hooking up with his receivers on a 77.4% rate. This teams defense also looks really good, allowing just 19 points per game, which is 12 less than what the offense is putting up per game (31). I think that Kansas City has a shot to make some noise this year due to the Pats not looking as sharp as usual, and the Steelers and Raiders both suffering with poor defenses. I think they'll be fun to watch, especially in their Monday Night Football match up against the Redskins this upcoming week.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be talking about the Carmelo Anthony trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder and what it means for the Knicks, Thunder, and NBA. Tomorrow expect an article about the NFL's week 3 action, and then Thursday I'll get around to my prediction for Dwayne Wade in free agency. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Carmelo Anthony Trade:
Knicks Receive: Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott, Chicago Bulls 2018 Second Round Pick
Thunder Receive: 10x All Star Carmelo Anthony
What should be listed under what the Knicks receive is a line of poop emojis. Has anyone heard of the phrase "don't trade a dollar for four quarters," because that applies right now. Never trade away a star for a bunch of assets, because in basketball it is much more valuable to have the best player. It is also widely known that the team that receives the best player usually wins the trade, and that also applies here. Not only did OKC get the best player, but they only gave up 3 quarters for the dollar.
I know I'm being harsh here, but come on New York. As a Bulls fan I can tell you that the Doug McDermott experiment won't go well, and although Kanter is a solid player, he is on a terrible contract. I understand Anthony is an aging player that has never proven himself able to carry a team to the promised land, but that's not what teams want out of him at this point. Melo wanted to be on a contender, and that meant either Cleveland, Houston, or obviously Oklahoma City. Melo is still one of the top 25 players in the league today (ESPN was greatly mistaken by placing him at 62 on their list) and his offensive ability can greatly benefit any team in the league.
So how is it that New York justifies this trade? I know. . . the development of Kristaps Porzingis! But wait a second, Porzingis has gotten better every single year with Anthony on the team anyways, so how is it the Knicks still want to make this move? My response is that the value of stars has gone down greatly this past off season. We have seen in the Jimmy Butler trade, Paul George trade, and now the Carmelo Anthony trade that teams entering or in a rebuild will take next to nothing for their stars if it allows them to tank the upcoming season. Analytics have ruined the values of stars because now teams will take prospects in hope of an incredible career turnaround over some of the best talents in the NBA.
What does this mean for the Knicks and Thunder going forward, now? This means that New York will be riding on the shoulders of the Latvian Unicorn, and the Thunder are going to be the third best team in the West. I'm not jumping on the Thunder bandwagon. Everyone thinks now that there is a new OK3 in the West that the Warriors will have to look out, but I don't think that even the Rockets should start worrying. Obviously this Thunder team is going to be good, and they look great on paper. The issue is that they have a lack of 3 point shooting, and they have 3 ball dominant players competing for shots. Again, as a Bulls fan I can tell you that this doesn't work. The Three Alphas movement in Chicago failed last year due to Jimmy Butler, Dwayne Wade, and Rajon Rondo all competing for the ball. This not only led to awkwardness on the court, but locker room issues. I just don't see the Thunder pulling ahead of the Rockets, a 3 point based team, when they have 3 alphas, 2 of which were shipped to this team without necessarily planning on letting their usage rates drop.
Overall I think this is still a great trade for the Thunder, and this further proves that the Knicks are a lost team. More will be revealed as the season gets closer, but for now lets all just appreciate what has been a very entertaining off season.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be hitting on a couple of the biggest questions surrounding the NFL right now. A lot of this will be about quarterback play so far this year, so if you aren't interested in that I'll let you know right now that you should skip towards the end of the article. Make sure to share this post with a friend, because every share helps TTR grow.
Bill O'Brien and Deshaun Watson: Since 2014 Bill O'Brien has started 9 different quarterbacks for the Houston Texans. Through two weeks of this season, he is already at two different QBs. This needs to stop. The Texans just spent a first round pick on Deshaun Watson, and he is without question an incredible talent. He won't perform well without having time to develop on and off the field though, and since O'Brien has already thrown him in as the starting QB, Watson is going to have to learn a lot on the field, and fast. Instead of letting Tom Savage play out this year and let Watson develop from the sidelines, Watson now has incredible pressure on him. If Watson doesn't perform well the next couple of weeks though, it would almost hurt Watson more to pull him, since it'd be a huge blow to his confidence. O'Brien needs to finally stick to a QB for the better of Deshaun Watson and the Texans as a whole.
Sam Bradford: Bradford opened up this season with an incredible game on Monday Night Football, letting the whole world see how much he has improved over the last year or so. Bradford quietly had the highest completion percentage of any QB last year (71.6%) and by playing another great game week one, everyone is now aware of his value to an NFL roster. Bradford missed week two though, and after the Vikings offense looked stagnant against a questionable Steelers defense, Bradford is clearly needed back. The Vikings are a bubble team this year, and Bradford's health could make or break their season. Hopefully, for Vikings fans everywhere, Bradford is back on the field soon.
Jay Cutler: SMOKIN' JAY CUTLER!!! Its only been one game, but oh my goodness. Cutler may have only put up 230 yards and 1 TD, but was his deep accuracy on point or what. He dropped dimes to Devante Parker twice (Parker mossed the Chargers defense multiple times by the way, you should look it up) and hit Kenny Stills on a 29 touchdown that was pure beauty. If Adam Gase continues to call conservative plays, let the run game take over, and then let Cutler cut it loose off of the play action this Dolphins offense could be spectacular. The rule of thumb with Cutler is that he will build up your hopes and then send everything crashing to the ground, but with Gase calling his plays I'm hopeful that this trend is changed.
Atlanta Falcons Beat the Pack: In what was a very lopsided Sunday Night Football game, the Atlanta Falcons made my NFC favorites, the Packers, look like fools. The Pack suffered a few key injuries early in the game which obviously didn't help, but my goodness did their defense look bad. The Falcons put up 24 points in just the first half, and had 34 at the end of the third quarter. This does not bode well for Green Bay as the season continues. For the Falcons, this is a huge bounce back win. They looked like they were suffering a Super Bowl hangover in week one where they barley escaped with a win against Chicago, but this is huge for confidence. The one question with this team, though, is if they can stay consistent. We saw in last years Super Bowl how quickly this team can flip flop with their play, so Atlanta needs to prove they can play well every week in order to win the NFC.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be hitting on what I found most interesting from the week one NFL action so far, as well as giving my picks for tonight's Monday Night Football games. Make sure to share this article along with my others, because it helps TTR grow.
The Packers and Seahawks are going to be the top teams in the NFC. I know it's only been one week, but I said in my NFC Preview that these were the two best teams in NFC, and they would play in the NFC Championship, and I feel that I was validated yesterday. The Falcons, who are widely regarded as a top three team in the NFC, underwhelmed yesterday. They almost lost to the Bears. Yeah. Also, to bring things back to my NFC Preview article, I said the Packers are ultimately the better team than the Seahawks. Yesterday that was proven to be true, as Seattle's offensive line looked atrocious. Overall, the big takeaway is that the Packers are the team to beat in the NFC until someone knocks them off.
The Patriots look old and slow. Tom Brady played like a 40 year old quarterback in the season opener versus the Kansas City Chiefs, and his defense looked worse. They struggled all second half, and the potential long term loss of D'onta Hightower isn't going to help. Brady has always been aided by solid defenses, and if he can't get that help this year I don't know if the Patriots will live up to the preseason hype that everyone, including myself, fell into.
Colin Kaepernick deserves a job in the NFL. I don't care about anybody's politics right now; the horrific quarterback play yesterday proves that Kap is better than at least 5 starting QB's right now. The Cleveland Browns ran out of the tunnel yesterday with members of the military and police as a show of unity, and it's time for the NFL owners to unite and end the blackballing of Kaepernick.
The Lions and Matthew Stafford prove to be the comeback kings once again...and I'm not sure it's a good thing. This team's offense doesn't have a ton of talent on it, and that continuously results in the Lions playing from behind. Stafford's late game heroics have been incredible, but this is not a formula for success. Detroit's defense needs to play better at the beginning of games, and more importantly, so does the offense. This team is supposed to be vying for a playoff spot this year, so this issue needs to be fixed.
New Orleans Saints @ Minnesota Vikings: I'm taking the Vikings in this game. I thought that this teams offense was okay last year, and the addition of Dalvin Cook makes me like them even more. The New Orleans high powered offense has its hands full with the Minnesota defense, and in complete contrast I think the Vikings offense has the ability to run over the Saints defense. This should be a fun game to watch.
Los Angeles Chargers @ Denver Broncos: I hated that I had to type "Los Angeles" instead of "San Diego," so I'm using the pitiful relocation of the Chargers as my tiebreaker for picking this game. I think this should be close since both teams have talent on at least one side of the ball, but the home field advantage is going to help give the Broncos the edge. The Denver defense is also going to play a very telling game against the Chargers offense, since both units are the strong points of their respective teams. I think, just like the Saints v. Vikings game, this will be close and an intriguing game to watch. It could have a major impact on each teams ability to make the playoffs later this season.
The NFL is Back!!! Brady is NOT the GOAT, My Super Bowl Prediction, and My Pick for Tonight's Pats - Chiefs Game
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today has been marked on my calendar since the end of Super Bowl 51, because today football is back. Tonight the defending champion Patriots take on the Kansas City Chiefs, in what should be a great match up. Before I give you my pick for tonight's game though, I'll be giving my prediction for this years Super Bowl match up and winner. Remember to share this article, as it helps TTR grow.
Super Bowl Prediction:
New England Patriots vs. Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
The rational part of my mind is telling me that the Super Bowl game consists of the Seahawks and Pats, but I've been dying to see Aaron Rodgers play Tom Brady in the biggest game on Earth. Rodgers has the most talent around him since his last Super Bowl appearance, and that can't go unnoticed. Green Bay has a real shot to make the Super Bowl this year. On the Patriots side of things, I don't really need to explain much. On paper this is possibly the most talented roster in history, and with Bill Belichick leading this team there isn't much that can stop this team. Except the Packers. I think that it's the Miami Dolphins fan inside of me that refuses to let me pick the Patriots to win the Super Bowl, but at the same time there are reasons to be worried about this team in February. Tom Brady, "the greatest quarterback of all time" (says nobody with any sense), has not played as well as advertised in Super Bowls. Here are his stats:
XXXVI: 16-27, 145 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions - 59% completion is not good, average yards per attempt was 5 (not good) and any other QB would be endlessly ridiculed for a 145 yard game in a Super Bowl.
XXXVIII: 32-48, 354 yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception - This performance against the Panthers was in my opinion by far his best in a Super Bowl, and there isn't much besides a pick to criticize. Once again though, his average yards per attempt wasn't incredible (7), although it definitely improved.
XXXIX: 23/33, 236 yards, 2 touchdowns, 0 interceptions - This was a solid outing from Brady, but nowhere near spectacular. The average yards per attempt was once again 7, which again is nothing to write home about, and 236 yards is average.
XLII: 29-48, 266 yards, 1 touchdown, 0 interceptions - The next two Super Bowls (both against the Giants) should be nicknamed Tom Brady meets a pass rush. Brady throughout his career has been a deer in headlights when defenses take away his short routes, and then he caves into the pressure of opposing defensive lines. His completion percentage was 60 (not good), and his average yards per attempt was only 5. This was not a good performance in the slightest.
XLVI: 27-41, 276 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception - In his second match up against the G-Men Brady improved upon his last performance, but once again wasn't great. 276 yards is once again average, and his aypa was 6 (not very good). Brady was once again flustered by the pass rush, and didn't preform like the G.O.A.T.
XLIX: 37/50, 328 yards, 4 touchdowns, 2 interceptions - Brady received a lot of credit for beating the Seahawks in this Super Bowl, but he didn't deserve it. He had a good completion percentage, posted over 300 yards, and had 4 TDs but those stats misconstrue his true performance. Brady completed almost no deep passes and continually dumped the ball off in the flats to avoid throwing at the Legion of Boom. He also threw 2 terrible interceptions, both of which would have cost them the game if it weren't for Pete Carroll making the worst call in NFL history. Also, his aypa was only 6, proving that he didn't have an incredibly efficient game.
LI: 43/62, 466 yards, 2 touchdowns, 1 interception - I am not going to deny that this was the greatest comeback of all time. The Patriots were incredible in the second half, but a lot of things had to go right for this team to erase what was a terrible first half by Tom Brady and the Pats (ex. the Falcons didn't run the ball when that's ALL THEY HAD TO DO TO WIN). Brady threw a terrible pick-6, and through the whole game only completed 3 passes over 15 yards. That means the other 40 were the classic Brady quick slants to avoid turning the ball over. Even in the second half when the Pats comeback happened Brady was not making incredible throws, it was mostly short passes (aypa was 7). This was Brady's most memorable game, but it, along with his other Super Bowl performances, were not his finest.
Anyways, Brady has yet to go out and win a Super Bowl by himself, which is something I can see Aaron Rodgers doing any day. I think this year we will see a huge upset, and it will help boost Aaron Rodgers stock in the debate for all-time greats.
Kansas City Chiefs @ New England Patriots:
Tonight, like most of the country, I'm taking the Patriots to win. This is one of the best rosters in the history of the game, and I think they'll show all of that talent off tonight. I don't think it'll be a blowout though; quite the contrary in fact. This should be a close, gritty, and fun game to watch as an opening to this new season. I'm excited to see what happens.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Just like yesterday I'll be going over every team (this time in the NFC) giving my outlook on them for this season, their goods and bads, and then my record prediction. Make sure to check out yesterdays article and share this with a friend. Every new reader helps grow TTR.
Dallas Cowboys: Just last night the Dallas Cowboys got news that Ezekiel Elliot will be missing six games this season due to a domestic violence indecent. He will be able to play week one against the division rival Giants though, and that's huge because of the significance of the game. With Zeke on the field, the Cowboys are one of the best in the NFC. The Cowboys offense is obviously loaded with Elliot, Witten, Bryant, and Prescott. I think Dak is going to take a step back this year, but that's only because he had what most quarterbacks consider a career year last season. He should be fine, but not as good as last season. Although their offense looks great the Dallas defense is what is going to hold this team back this year. Last year they were suspect, and now they are even weaker due to the departure of multiple starting players last year. The Cowboys should be good, but as Stephen A. Smith always says, their defense is, "an accident waiting to happen."
My Prediction: 9-7
New York Giants: The Giants are an interesting team entering this season. I believe there defense is going to be top five, and their receiving core is definitely top 5. The only questions are about their offensive line and the running game. Paul Perkins is currently their lead back and he isn't much to write home about. If the offensive line can help make his job easier though, the Giants offense could be elite. Something that I think is going way under the radar though is the long term effects Odell's ankle injury is going to have. He only returned to practice a couple days ago, and these injuries are known for reoccurring throughout the season. If Odell is hurt, this team is going to struggle.
My Prediction: 9-7
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles are a team that are stuck in a tight spot. They seem to be the third best team in the NFC East, but in most divisions they could be competing for the top spot. I think that their revamped offense led by Carson Wentz should definitely be potent, but the defense is concerning. Of the pre season action I've seen them play, their secondary doesn't look great, even after the trade for Ronald Darby. I think the Eagles will be good, with possibly a great offense (credit to the offensive line) but they won't have enough to make the playoffs this year.
My Prediction: 8-8
Washington Redskins: If you read yesterdays article, you know what I mean when I say the Redskins are like the Bengals. They bore me. Once again they are the worst team in their division talent wise, but they have enough to win some games. They can't commit to their quarterback which will one year come back to bite them in the butt. Kirk Cousins isn't incredible but he is above average, and that's hard to find in today's NFL. The Redskins defense should be solid, especially with an improved linebacker core. The offense will stay afloat although the running game is questionable. We'll see how they pan out this year.
My Prediction: 6-10
Atlanta Falcons: 28-3.
All they had to do was run the ball...
So the Falcons look like the next Panthers to me. They had a great run last season, lost the Super Bowl, and now I think they are going to have a down year. I'm not saying they are going to be terrible (which the Panther were last year) but I don't think they will match last years production. The loss of offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan is huge, because he was a big part of Matt Ryan's MVP season. On the other hand, the Atlanta defense got better, and the talent on the roster is one of the best in the league. I expect this team to play well this season, just not as great as last year.
My Prediction: 11-5
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton is poised for a bounce back season due to his upgraded offense. Christian McCaffery is enamoring and I think he is going to do wonders for this offense. Defensively this team still isn't great, but that's what you get for not paying Josh Norman last year. I've heard that Cam is going to stop getting designed runs called for him, so I think a lot of this season hinges as his ability to be a pocket passer. They will be an interesting team to follow.
My Prediction: 8-8
New Orleans Saints: The Saints are going to be a fun team to watch this season. Just like always, the front office has failed to give Drew Brees any semblance of a defense so almost all of their games will be high scoring. And guess what... the Saints can score with the best of them. The loss of deep threat Brandin Cooks is going to hurt but they still have so much firepower they'll be alright. I don't see them as a playoff team due to the lack of defense, but I'll enjoy watching their games this year.
My Prediction: 8-8
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tampa Bay has officially been screwed over along with my Miami Dolphins. Their week one match up has been moved to the two teams bye week so they don't have to play during hurricane Irma. That means the Bucs have to play 16 straight games with a difficult schedule. I had them making the playoffs this year as a surprisingly successful team, but this is going to hurt them. I love Tampa's offense with Evans, Jackson, Winston, and Martin, and I think the defense will be solid too. Due to missing their bye week, though, I think they'll lose an extra game or two this year.
My Prediction: 8-8
Chicago Bears: I really don't want to write about this team. They paid a huge sum of money to a backup quarterback in free agency, and then traded away their future for Mitch Trubisky. I just don't understand. This teams defense is atrocious, as is their offense (excluding Jordan Howard). They also just lost Cameron Meredith for the season with a torn ACL, and he was supposed to be there best receiver. The Bears are going to stink.
My Prediction: 2-14
Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford is making bank. He just signed the largest contract in NFL history, and I think he deserves the money. He has done nothing but ball despite having suspect offensive weapons around him (excluding the few years with Calvin Johnson). This teams defense is solid, and if Stafford can continue making those around him better, this team could be great. I think they could be a playoff team this year, but in a crowded NFC only time will tell.
My Prediction: 10-6
Green Bay Packers: No matter how terrible this teams defense is, Aaron Rodgers gives you a chance to win. He is the most talented quarterback of all time, and he is going to once again carry this team to a division title. I think that is Green Bay's defense shows up in a couple big games this year, this team could end up in the Super Bowl, but everything hinges on that reality. Otherwise the Packers will remain one of the best in the business, just without a ring.
My Prediction: 12-4
Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are an interesting team this season. Sam Bradford was respectable last year, and I think he will continue that trend this year. Rookie running back Dalvin Cook is going to be very fun to watch, and I think he could do great things for this offense. The Minnesota defense remains one of the best in the league, so I think this team is going to win some close games. They, just like the Eagles, are in a tough position due to them being in a very competitive division, but they definitely have a chance to make the playoffs.
My Prediction: 9-7
Arizona Cardinals: The Cardinals flopped last year, plain and simple. They had one of the best rosters in football, and yet they found a way to completely miss last years playoffs. I expect different results this year though. I'm not in love with Carson Palmer, but David Johnson is incredible, as well as Larry Fitzgerald. This teams defense is also top of the line. They have talent at every position, so I expect good things from this team this year.
My Prediction: 9-7
Los Angeles Rams: This teams roster looks the way throwing up in your mouth tastes. I don't care that they acquired an overrated, injury prone wide receiver. Jared Goff has yet to show any justification for the number one pick, and this teams defense continues to look pathetic. I will give them credit for upgrading the offensive line which should give Todd Gurley a solid season, but otherwise I don't see many bright spots on this team. I keep hearing Rams fan talking about Aaron Donald, but I don't think they realize that a defensive tackle doesn't solely make you a great team. A quarterback can (ex. Green Bay Packers) but the Rams don't have one of those.
My Prediction: 5-11
San Francisco 49ers: The Niners look like they'll show some improvement this year on both sides of the ball. They did a great job in the draft this year boosting up the defense, and their offense should improve now that Kyle Shanahan is head coach. I think that this team may surprise us in a couple of games this year because they should be a solid running team, and the defense should be able to force a couple turnovers. San Fran, your Niners are back!...to being a halfway decent team. (Quick explanation because I know people are going to bring this up: Decent is 8-8, and the Niners are halfway there, which is four wins.)
My Prediction: 4-12
Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks are a team that is going to either be the best or second best in the NFC this year. Mark my words. Their trade for Sheldon Richardson just made their defense even more ridiculous, and it barely affected their offense. Russell Wilson will be fully healthy entering this season, and I think for the first time in a while it'll stay that way. This teams one weakness seems to come in the running game, but with Thomas Rawls and Eddie Lacy to choose from the Seahawks should find someone to work with.
My Prediction: 11-5
NFC Playoff Prediction:
1) Green Bay Packers
2) Seattle Seahawks
4)New York Giants
6) Dallas Cowboys
NFC Championship Prediction:
Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. With there being only two days left until the first game of the NFL season, I want to preview both the AFC and NFC early playoff contenders (as well as those without viable playoff hopes), and then give my Super Bowl prediction. Today I'll be doing the AFC, so I'll go through what makes each team in the conference hard to beat this year, as well as their weaknesses. At the end of this article I'll give you my AFC Championship prediction, and Thursday when I do my Superbowl pick it will be revealed who I see coming out of the AFC. Remember to share this article and my others, because every time you expose these articles to others it helps TTR grow.
Buffalo Bills: The Bills are a challenging team to judge heading into this season because of their quarterback situation and their running game. Obviously the defense took a major hit when Buffalo traded away Ronald Darby to the Philadelphia Eagles, and let their other incredible corner, Stephon Gilmore, go to the Patriots in free agency. The offense also took a hit with the swapping of Sammy Watkins and Jordan Matthews in their number one receiver spot. However though, Tyrod Taylor has only surprised us in his time in Buffalo, and LeSean McCoy remains one of the leagues elite running backs. Will these two keep the team at .500 this season despite one of the leagues toughest schedules? Only time will tell.
My Prediction: 5-11
Miami Dolphins: Quick disclaimer: I am a die hard Miami Dolphins fan. Does that change my ability to look at their roster and schedule and make a rational prediction? No. But I refuse to disrespect them the way ESPN does. All I've seen this off season is that Miami is going to be a 6 win team this season, but answer me this: how is it that with an improved roster, more experienced coach, and a second year for everyone in this system we will play like trash. Adam Gase was second in Coach of the Year voting last season after overhauling everything mid last year and transitioning from a pass happy system to a run first team. Jay Ajayi has looked even better than last season so far in training camp and pre season. And, now to the most dreaded part of this article, me, a Jay Cutler hater, has to admit that he fits our system perfectly and has shown the arm talent to carry our team in shootouts. Obviously the decision making is still a question for Cutler, but I have some confidence in Miami this year. I'm not saying we will make the playoffs, because we have the fourth hardest schedule in the league, but I know we are better than six wins (if not I blame everything on Cutler).
My Prediction: 8-8
New England Patriots: HOT TAKE: Tom Brady is not the greatest quarterback to ever live, and he will begin his physical decline this season (I've been saying it for years: wait till he's 40 and it'll all go downhill). This changes nothing for the Patriots though. Gronk is healthy again, and I don't care that Edelman got hurt. Hogan, Cooks, Amendola, White, and Lewis can all share what were to be his receptions. The point is, in case you missed it, the Pats are deep. New England's defense improved this offseason too. They stole Stephon Gilmore from division rival Buffalo Bills, and they also traded for Kony Ealy. I've never seen a roster as stacked as theirs, and as long as Mr. Bill Belicheat is coaching (including if Brady gets hurt), they will be everyones favorites to win it all.
My Prediction: 15-1
New York Jets: Webster's Dictionary defines this franchise as a joke, because that's exactly what they are this season. They purged every veteran from their roster in free acency, traded Sheldon Richardson to the Seahawks, and have four third string caliber quarterbacks trying to start. I will admit, Jamaal Adams was a great draft pick and I think he'll be great, but one player isn't enough to save a roster full of 50 other bums. I feel bad for Todd Bowles because not only does he need to try and work with this terrible roster, he has to face the tenth hardest schedule in the league. Vegas gave this team 1000-1 odds to win it all this year, and I think that says enough.
My Prediction: 3-13
Houston Texans: Let me start this out by saying not only is J.J. Watt one of the best defensive players to ever live, he will always be remembered for what he has done for the people of Houston these last couple of weeks. He is going to be this years Walter Payton Man of the Year without question. Now, let me move towards the football side of things for Houston. their defense is going to be a pain in the tokus for every offensive coordinator in football. They were debatably the best in the NFL last year, and that was without the man I previously mentioned. With Watt back on the field, the sky is the limit. Actually, wait. I was wrong. The offense is the limit. This year hinges on quarterback play, because Nuke Hopkins is only effective when someone can get him the ball, and that would help his offensive co star Lamar Miller. I think this team is a sleeper to make a run in the playoffs this year. Keep an eye on them.
My Prediction: 10-6
Indianapolis Colts: The Colts aren't going anywhere this year. I like Andrew Luck but he gets no time in the pocket, and, oh yeah, he's entering the season injured. Their defense hasn't gotten too much better, and as each year goes by Frank Gore is going to be a little less effective for them. I won't ever count them out of a game if Luck and T.Y. Hilton have a chance to make plays together, but I just don't see them doing much this season. Sorry Indy.
My Prediction: 6-10
Jacksonville Jaguars: When your head coach has to tell the media that the starting quarterback job is a toss up between Blake Bortles and Chad Henne... CHAD HENNE?! That can't be right. It is. 'Tis true my fellow football fans. This is how low Jacksonville has reached. For a week there was a chance Chad Henne was going to be the Jaguars starting quarterback. This teams defense looks great on paper so hopefully that keeps them afloat in a couple games this year, but to win games you need to score points. If Bortles can't play up to snuff teams will stack the box, contain Leonard Fournette, and make Jacksonville win through the air... which I highly doubt they are capable of.
My Prediction: 4-12
Tennessee Titans: Just a couple of years ago this team had the number two pick in the draft, and were the laughingstock of the NFL. Oh, how times have changed. This team has been incredibly hyped up this off season, and many expect them to make the playoffs as a wildcard. I think due to their weak schedule it's definitely a possibility, but I'm not buying into them as much as others are. Their wide receivers are questionable despite the acquisition of Eric Decker, and their defense is also under some scrutiny. I think that Mariota has a real chance to shine this year, and he can prove himself to be a qb of the future.
My Prediction: 10-6
Baltimore Ravens: The Ravens are in an interesting spot this year. I don't see them making the playoffs, but they have a solid enough roster to go .500. They acquired Jeremy Maclin this off season, and him paired with Mike Wallace can be an interesting threat to secondaries this year. Their running game is atrocious though, and that could slow them down offensively. Also, entering the season with your franchise QB injured isn't a good sign. The Baltimore defense continues to look stout, so I think that will give them a couple wins this year.
My Prediction: 7-9
Cincinnati Bengals: The Bengals should be a solid team again this year, but I don't think they are good enough to make the playoffs. They should be another team that hovers around .500, and I honestly think after this season Marvin Lewis is gonna have to go. He has been the coach there for years, and they can't seem to find the playoffs (and when they do they loose immediately). I think that they have a very potent offense and a solid defense, but I just can't find anything on there roster that doesn't make me think average. Cincinnati, please go find a new coach, because you're boring to talk about, and have been for years.
My Prediction: 8-8
Cleveland Browns: I'll make this brief. Their offense has only one good player because they didn't resign Terrelle Pryor, which they should've. Isaiah Crowell, that one good player, can't carry them the way elite running backs can. This teams defense looked like the first bright spot for the Browns in years... and then they released two time Pro Bowl corner (it's hard to get good cornerbacks by the way) Joe Haden. So now even though their front seven looks okay, every single team that plays them can throw the ball all over their defense. The front office gets zero stars.
My Prediction: 2-14
Pittsburgh Steelers: This team is widely considered to be the Patriots biggest threat in the AFC this season. The Killer B's (Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Leveon Bell) are going to compete to be the best offense in the league, and with Martavis Bryant back from suspension there chances of being the best are dramatically increased. Opposing defenses are going to crying themselves to sleep on Sunday nights. Speaking of defense, that was Pittsburgh's one issue heading into the season... and then Cleveland basically gifted them Joe Haden. Now, the Steelers look to be one of the best in the AFC by a wide margin.
My Prediction: 11-5
Denver Broncos: The Broncos are a team that reminds me of the boring Bengals, but not for the same reasons. Denver isn't very exciting since their defense makes every game low scoring, and this year their offense looks just as encouraging as ever. They did just bring Brock Osweiler back though, so it'll be interesting to see how he affects the quarterback battle there. On the defensive side of things, Wade Phillips, their former defensive coordinator, is gone and the teams new head coach, Vance Joseph, will shake things up in terms of scheme. We'll see how they play now that the defense has undergone some changes.
My Prediction: 8-8
Kansas City Chiefs: This team is incredibly talented, and they have the tools to fight for the top spot in the AFC. The defense is incredible, and that's what you need to be a top team in the NFL. The offense also looks like it'll be solid this year, despite Spencer Ware going down with injury. His backup, rookie running back Kareem Hunt has been spectacular in pre season and he is expected to shine in the starting role. In terms of receivers, they have less depth due to Jeremy Maclin's exit, but Tyreek Hill is being put in position to take on the number one receiver role. He was incredible on special teams last year, and it'll be time to see if his hands can help keep Alex Smith happy with his outside weapons. If Tyreek doesn't preform well though, Smith can always fall back on Travis Kelce, who is once again expected to be a top 5 tight end this season. This team is loaded, and I can't wait to see what they do.
My Prediction: 12-4
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders, just like the Chiefs, are expected to shine this year. Derek Carr is coming off of an incredible season, and his weapons have only gotten better. Amari Cooper continues to develop, Michael Crabtree is still good, and now throw Marshawn 'Beast Mode' Lynch into the equation. This team is going to be unstoppable in the red zone. The issue for them this year is going to be the defense though, because Khalil Mack can't carry the whole unit on his shoulders. I can't wait to see how this team turns out. I can definitely see them making hay in the playoffs.
My Prediction: 10-6
San Diego Chargers: The Chargers, as usual, already have injuries in their receiving core. Their first round draft pick, Mike Williams, will be out for a solid chunk of time, which definitely isn't a great way to start off his career. On the bright side, though, Keenan Allen is finally healthy again, and Phillip Rivers has two great tight ends as offensive weapons (Antonio Gates and Hunter Henry). In terms of the running game, Melvin Gordon should be solid if he can stay healthy. This offense should be more then average. On the defensive side of the ball, though, the Chargers could have some issues. They were able to franchise tag Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa is going to be a beast, but the rest of the group is questionable. I think the defense is going to cost them a couple of close games this season.
My Prediction: 7-9
AFC Playoff Prediction:
AFC Championship Prediction:
New England Patriots vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.