Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'm going to quickly be giving my pick for tonight's Thursday Night Football game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins. This game has meaning for both teams as this is the Cowboys last hope in sparking a run towards a wildcard spot in the playoffs, and a game that could also get the Redskins closer to a wildcard birth. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Dallas Cowboys @ Washington Redskins:
With this game being a divisional battle between two rivals, it should be close. I know that the Cowboys haven't performed well recently without Ezekiel Elliott, but that doesn't change the fact that they have historically kept their divisional match ups close. What I don't like about Dallas right now, though, is that they have no identity. They've abandoned the run putting games on the shoulders of Dak Prescott, who lets just say has underwhelmed (no 200 yard games, 0 TDs, 5 INTs). By not playing a ball control offense anymore, the Cowboys defense is on the field for much longer than usual making their job much harder, which is why in the time without Elliott they have surrendered 27, 37, and 28 points. This also means that Dak is having to play from behind increasing the likelihood he makes mistakes. This is not how Dallas was built to play, and Jason Garrett should be getting more of the blame for how he has run this team without Zeke.
The Redskins on the other hand do have an identity this season, and its name is mediocrity. The defense is okay at 20th in the league and the offense is 11th (11th passing and 18th rushing). The team currently sits below .500 at 5-6, but the way Dallas' defense has performed I think that changes tonight. I'm taking the Redskins in a close one because of Kirk Cousins recent connection with Jamison Crowder, who has been a great receiver lately. The Cowboys secondary has been a disaster and I see Kirk and Crowder exploiting that tonight. If I'm choosing a score, I'm taking neither a high or low scoring game, saying 24-16 will be the final. Sorry Dallas, but your season basically ends tonight.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today's topic is one close to my heart, as the New York Giants are my second favorite team in the NFL (giving me the worst taste in history...honestly, the Dolphins and Giants?! I couldn't have chosen worse teams to root for this year). The first Super Bowl I remember watching is 47, when Eli led the Giants to the biggest upset in history, as New York ended the Patriots undefeated season. I haven't been happier in my entire life. It's been a long time since those glory days though, so I want to analyze what's going on for them right now, and give my opinion on what they should do from here on out. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
The State of the New York Football Giants:
This team may be one of the biggest disappointments this season, as they were supposed to be NFC East Champions, and make a Super Bowl run this year. I don't think anything more the opposite of that could have happened. The team currently sits at 2-9, the bottom of the NFC East, and the third worst team in the NFL. The offense has been terrible, the defense not much better, and just today, the Giants announced they were basically conceding the season by benching Eli Manning...in favor of Geno Smith. The team wants to see how its younger quarterbacks play, and that's fine, except for the fact that that is THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY SHOULD BE WORRIED ABOUT RIGHT NOW. Imploding is not, I repeat, is not, the direct New York should be headed.
The Giants heading into the season arguably had the best receiving core in the NFL with Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, and Sterling Shepard being the three starters. They also had special teams aficionado Dwayne Harris as the fourth stringer. Three of those receivers were out for the season early in the year, and Sterling Shepard has missed multiple games with reoccurring injuries.
The Giants defense was in a similar spot as the offense, with all the talent in the world. Here is the issue though, when an offense is rendered completely ineffective due to injuries, the defense is on the field too long to perform well. This is especially the case with a team lacking a good offensive line and/or a good running back. So, instead of having an incredible defense, this team has had to watch as close games become blowouts in the second half. Once the missing offensive pieces return, though, the scoring will be back on track, and defense will be back to its original form.
To go along with all of this, the Giants poor performance this season will grant them most likely a top five pick in the upcoming draft, so they should be able to improve glaring holes on their roster as well heading into next year. All of this very clearly shows the Giants should not be worried about their QB of the future right now, because they are built to win today, not tomorrow.
Now, I'm not saying there shouldn't be any change. In fact, I think there should be lots of it, but only in terms of management and coaching. Multiple players now have come out and said Ben McAdoo has lost the locker room, and it doesn't take a genius to see that translating to the team's performance on Sundays. The general manager, Jerry Reese, should also be gone. I hate to say that because he built two Super Bowl winning squads that I got the benefit of rooting for, but his recent failures trump those past successes. His inability to draft well (of course excluding Odell) and build an offensive line have plagued the team the last multiple years, and he shouldn't get a pass for that.
I know that usually only imploding teams clear house, but that's not what I expect from this Giants team. They need a new head coach because the players won't play for McAdoo anymore, and they need a new general manager for the hopes of making this years high draft pick a cornerstone of the franchise. If they can get a good coach, do well in the draft this year, and lets not forget, GET HELP FOR THE OFFENSIVE LINE, this Giants team will be great next year, just under new leadership.
All of this is why I'm mourning the loss of Eli Manning's 210 game start streak, the longest of all active players. He is a two time champion who deserves better than what he has been given this season. I agree with Plaxico, Osi, and Coughlin: It's a shame this is what the Giants have come to.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I'll be quickly giving my pick for tonight's Thursday Night Football game. Expect an NBA post soon, since I'll want to breakdown some of the biggest stories through the first quarter of the season. Also, make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Tennessee Titans @ Pittsburgh Steelers
Tonight may not seem like a very important game, but trust me, it is. Both of these teams are in the thick of things in the AFC, with Pittsburgh being the number one team and the Titans being number four. Home field advantage has been huge to the Steelers playoff success in the past, so this game would be big in keeping them atop the AFC (their in conference record would be 6-1). Tennessee is currently tied with Jacksonville at 6-3, and they are both vying for a division win. A win tonight for them would be vital in that they could end up with head to head victories that Jacksonville wasn't able to attain.
Now that I got the hype up out of the way, I'm going to be real with you guys. I don't see this being a very close game. Tennessee's offense is the 22nd in the league, and has struggled in the passing game. Against the leagues number one defense, I don't see that panning out. In terms of Pittsburgh's offensive match up, the Steelers have the number 12 offense against the Titans 16th ranked defense. Statistically, this should be a tough fight, but I think the Steelers play makers are going to go off tonight. After being held in check against the Colts last week I expect this offense to explode.
I'm taking Pittsburgh in a 30-13 game, and I think that either Leveon Bell, Antonio Brown, Juju Smith Schuster, or all of them will go off tonight. Juju has played well each of the last three weeks, but Brown and Bell have underwhelmed. If you have them on your fantasy squad, I think you'll be happy tonight.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. Today I want to touch on what I found to be the most interesting stories from week ten of the NFL. I'll bring up records, predictions, scheme, and of course, a couple hot takes. Make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
This game was a huge 45-21 blowout in favor of the Carolina Panthers. Miami is now on their third straight week with an embarrassing prime time loss, and after starting 4-2 they are 4-5. I first want to talk about the Panthers. Everybody is freaking out today about them today, claiming they could be the best in the NFC. I'll talk a bit more about that later, but for starters I want to eliminate Carolina from that conversation. Miami is the team everyone beats when they need to either right the ship, or when they need to make a statement. Last night was statement night. Carolina put up 548 yards (a franchise record) and scored a touchdown on five straight possessions. Here's the thing though, this win isn't as impressive as it looks. Miami has been terrible recently, and this game was close until Jay Cutler threw what was probably the worst interception of the year. After that, Miami's defense was on the field for so long without much of a break that Carolina walked all over them. Everyone has been able to do that though, so using this game as an example and justification for calling Carolina one of the best isn't valid.
Now it's time for a hot take. Miami is going to end this season 6-10. I know it doesn't sound like much right now, but I'll add more in a moment. Miami has the third hardest end schedule playing the Patriots twice, the Bills twice, the Broncos, Chiefs, and Buccaneers. I see no way Miami stays in Playoff contention and beat these teams the way both sides of the ball have performed. Here is the second part of the take though: next season, if the majority of the roster stays intact and Ryan Tannehill is healthy, Miami is either the five or six seed in the AFC. The loss of our (I'm a Dolphins fan that's why I say "our") starting quarterback was extremely detrimental (last night for example, Tannehill would have never thrown that interception, and the game would have been much closer), and we had to completely change our identity halfway through the season due to the Jay Ajayi trade. We should be facing the AFC South and NFC East, both of which feature solid teams, as well as dumpster fires. Miami had one of the hardest schedules this year, but next year we should come by wins more easily. We have shown flashes all season, but this year the Dolphins clearly can't put things together. Next year should be different.
The Patriots and Broncos also had what wasn't a very competitive game, with the final score coming out to be 41-16. The Broncos lost this game early, allowing 14 special teams points, which you cannot spot Tom Brady and the Patriots. Unlike the Falcons, New England isn't known for blowing leads. After this game, many are talking about how the Pats are back and how impressive this win was. Just like my evaluation of MNF, I don't see this being true. The Pats defense played well because they faced...sorry I started laughing just thinking about it...BROCK OSWEILER and the anemic Denver offense. Also, the Pats offense looked good partially because of Denver's scheme. The Miami defensive coordinator, Matt Burke, and Denver head coach, Vance Joseph, run the same scheme. Both have had success with it in the past but this season both Denver's defense, a very talented unit, and Miami's, not nearly as talented, have struggled. Both defenses have had their bright spot, but when you look at the tape it's usually great players making great plays, and not the scheme and play calling putting the players in the best spot to succeed. I think New England is dangerous, but in no way are they "back." Denver is not the team they used to be.
We are headed back to the best team in the NFC conversation. To date, I still see the Eagles being number one but my god I didn't not expect this from New Orleans;I don't think anyone did. Their defense has been over performing week by week, forcing the Bills to bench Tyrod Taylor this past week. The offense, despite the trade of Brandin Cooks, has still been successful, lighting teams up less through the air and more on the ground than usual. Drew Brees is still playing a high level of football, but running backs Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara have taken the load of of his shoulders. They look, especially after beating one of the better teams in the AFC (Buffalo), like at least a top three team in the NFC.
Some people say I hate the Cowboys more than Steven A. Smith, if that helps you get a visual of how happy I was to see Dak Prescott sacked eight times. The Cowboys without Ezekiel Elliot are lost, and although the absence of Tyron Smith was more to account for the sacks than Zeke, you can still see that this team lacks an identity. Alfred Morris struggled running the ball in the first half which put Dallas in the hole, forcing obvious passing situations over and over again. This lead to the sacks, and the physical (as well as mental) beat down of what many people thought would be the best team in the NFC. Now, in all honesty (hot take alert), I don't even see Dallas making the Playoffs. They end the year with the Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Giants, Raiders, and Seahawks making for a very difficult end of year schedule. I can only realistically see them winning 3 of these games, max, leaving them an eight win team. Sorry Jerry Jones, everything can't always go your way.
I predicted the Jaguars winning a close one this week, and boy was I right. A blocked field goal that somehow still went through the uprights gave the Jags an overtime victory against the Chargers, who were widely taken to upset Jacksonville. Now the Jags are 6-3, and in the thick of things in the AFC. I like them to win the division over the Titans, but if they can't do that I don't see a world in which they miss the Playoffs. Leonard Fournette was held in check this weekend getting only around 40 yards from scrimmage, but that isn't going to happen every week. He will continue to lead this team, and in my opinion, win rookie of the year. I like the Jags right now, and I think that this win really shut up those who didn't believe in this team.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. I'll be giving my picks for this weekend's NFL games today. Expect a NBA post either this weekend or early next week because I have a lot to say about the start of this season. Also, make sure to share this article as it helps TTR grow.
Jets @ Buccaneers:
I'm taking the Bucs in this game. I like their ability to run the football, and against the 29th ranked team in run defense Doug Martin should have a good game. Also, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be starting for Tampa Bay which could either be a colossal failure, or a success, which is the side I'm leaning on. New York may have looked like the better team so far this year, but I like Tampa in a close game.
Saints @ Bills:
At the beginning of the year this game was marked as one that we could ignore. Right now though, that is the opposite of the reality. If the playoffs were to start today both the Saints and Bills would be in. Both teams defenses have outperformed their expectations this season (especially the Saints) but it is the offenses of these teams that are the deciding factor in this weeks game. I like the Saints to win, but with Kelvin Benjamin most likely getting his first start as a Buffalo Bill the AFC squad has a chance.
Browns @ Lions:
Lions win...obviously. The Browns literally can't make a decision as a front office, since the coaches have accused the general manager of purposely sabotaging a trade for the Bengals A.J. McCarron. I expect this to be a blowout, and it should boost Matthew Stafford's MVP case.
Bengals @ Titans:
I like the Titans in this game. It should be close, but I feel like Tennessee has more to gain, and to lose, this week. The AFC South is up for grabs currently and the Titans have a chance to capitalize. I think Marcus Mariota should have a good day despite the Bengals number four pass defense. A successful rushing attack, which the Titans possess, always leads to big plays in the passing attack late in games.
Packers @ Bears:
My gut says to take the Bears in an upset since the game is in Chicago. I'm gonna go with my brain this time though, since I know that despite the Packers recent struggles, they aren't as terrible as to lose to the Bears. I do think, though, that this would be a great game for Chicago to get an upset. Either way, I'm taking Green Bay in what I see as at least a ten point game.
Chargers @ Jaguars:
All I've seen lately is that the Chargers are going to upset the Jags this week. I say NO. The Jaguars have been exceptional on defense this season, and running back Leonard Fournette is my pick for Rookie of the Year. As a Dolphins fan I understand what Jags fans are feeling right now--and that is disrespect. When you have a good season the media always is against the up and coming teams, so I'm not going to take that route. Jacksonville deserves to be favored this week, so I'm taking them to win.
Vikings @ Redskins:
I like Minnesota this week. The Redskins won by the skin of their teeth last week against Seattle, and I don't see them doing that two weeks in a row. They have to face arguably an even tougher defense in Minnesota now, so I don't see the offense doing enough to win. Minnesota on the other hand, has been good with Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray splitting carries. I like them to win.
Steelers @ Colts:
Just like the Lions and Browns game, this is an easy game to pick. On one side you have the Steelers, a playoff contender with a solid team on both sides of the ball. On the other side you have a dumpster fire. For the Colts fans out there saying "we can win because we beat Houston last week"--I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Pittsburgh is on a whole different level. Their pass defense is second in the league, and their offense is in the top half of the league. Steelers in a blowout.
Texans @ Rams:
I'm taking L.A. in this one. The Rams are one of the best teams is the NFC this year, while the Texans went from a powerhouse to a mess with the season ending injury to Deshaun Watson. Seeing the Colts offense have success against the Texans defense means that the Rams, the second best scoring team in the NFL, should have no worries. I think the game will be close, but I like L.A.
Giants @ 49ers:
For the better of the Giants future, I want Ben McAdoo gone. For that to happen, the Giants need to lose to one of the worst teams in the NFL, and they have that chance this weekend. The Niners have an underrated defense, especially in the front seven. I think that this will take away the Giants ability to run the football and wreck havoc on Eli Manning in the passing game. Also, multiple reports have come out that McAdoo has lost the Giants locker room, and it shows in their defensive performances. The Niners are going to get what could be their only win of the second half of this season.
Cowboys @ Falcons:
I am a Dallas Cowboys hater. I'm happy to admit that, but I'm not letting that affect my pick for this game. Dallas is going to win, and it's because Atlanta is dysfunctional this year. The offense isn't what is was last year now that their offensive coordinator is coaching San Francisco, and the defense is on the field too long to be effective. Despite the loss of Ezekiel Elliot, Dallas will be fine and I like them to win.
Patriots @ Broncos:
I like New England in this one. I think it'll be close is Denver can successfully take away the short routes from the Pats, which they usually do, but if not this could be a blowout. Denver's offense is so bad they have to start Brock Osweiler, and that is not a recipe for success even against the worst defense in the league in New England.
Dolphins @ Panthers:
This is going to be Miami's third straight prime time game. This will also be their third straight prime time loss. They are facing the best defense in the NFL, and their offense is the worst in the NFL. The Dolphins defense also won't be able to contain Carolina because the time of possession will be so far skewed in favor of the Panthers that Miami's defense is going to be gassed.
Welcome to The Truda Report everybody. I haven't had time to post anything this week, and I'm short on time today, but I wanted to give my choice for tonight's game. Make sure to share this and my other articles as it helps TTR grow.
Seattle Seahawks @ Arizona Cardinals:
I think that the obvious decision in this game is the Seahawks. They have been rolling lately, winning four straight until last weeks last minute loss to the Redskins. I don't see that loss causing Seattle any trouble tonight though, as I think the team will be ready to bounce back. The offense has its great days and its terrible ones, and I think against an Arizona team that's struggling offensivley Seattle will have the ball long enough to control this game.
For Arizona I don't see how their offense will be able to function. Seattle's defense is one of the best in the league allowing only 18.6 points per game (second in the NFC) while Arizona is only scoring 17.4. I don't see things boding well for Arizona offensivley which means defensivly they will be tired and give up plays late in the game.
I'm taking Seattle 27-17
High School Senior from Connecticut obsessed with sports stats, facts, and management.