The Past vs The Future

     When this season starts for the Washington Redskins, there will be a new QB under center, as Kirk Cousins, to put it in Lebron James terms, took his talents to Minnesota to join the Vikings after 3+ years of being the starting QB of the Redskins, in his place comes former 49ers #1 overall pick and Kansas City Chief QB Alex Smith. cousins vikingsThe question is, are the Redskins improving or making a lateral movement at QB. In my opinion, to accurately determine this, you must take look at his stats through the same time period for each player, so in this case, we have to look through both players
first 57 starts.

Through 57 starts:

Kirk Cousins: 65.5% completions 16,206 yards 99 TD 55 INT 26-30-1 as a starter

Alex Smith: 57.6% completions 10,400 yards 59 TD 55 INT 25-32 as a starter

     Through first glance at Alex’s stats, it seems like it would be a step back compared to Kirk, but Alex didn’t have the right coaches around him, his first head coach in the league was Mike Nolan who was fired during his fourth year in the league and then smith1dealt with 2+ years under Mike Singletary. He was thought to be a bust, that was until the Niners hired a college coach who never had NFL coaching experience in Jim Harbaugh. Fortunately for Smith, it was the first time in his career where he had the right leader and was able to find success.

     In his first season under Harbaugh, Smiths stats were 3144 yards with 17 TD’s. Career highs for Smith, and then Smith was sent to KC where he learned under Andy Reid and became the player he was supposed to be when he was drafted. He comes to DC after a super successful run in KC where he helped lead the Chiefs to the playoffs 4 of the last 5 years, whereas Cousins has been to the playoffs once as a full-time starter back in 2015.

     I believe that when it comes to which Alex Smith we will get, we will get the Kansas City Chiefs version, the most successful version of him especially with Jay Gruden leading the team. My prediction for next season is that we will be between 9-7 and maybe 11-5 with a playoff berth. I do believe that it is an improvement at the QB position for the Redskins even if it is just a tiny bit of an improvement.

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Enjoying a movie with an NFL player and getting to know him a little.

     Last Monday, I came across a post on Instagram from Redskins rookie Running Back Derrius Guice. Guice is the Redskins second-round pick out of LSU, he was regarded as the best running back in the draft coming into the draft. He posted that IMG-3529he would be out at the Alamo Drafthouse in Ashburn for the 8:00 showing of Avengers Infinity War and was inviting a few local fans to join him at the theater. As soon as I saw that post I knew I had to go. Derrius walked up to the theater around 7:30 and spent the next 30 minutes taking pictures and signing autographs with a few dozen fans. From the minute he walked up to the time we left following the movie, I could tell that he is a great guy and that whoever said that he had character issues didn’t know what they were talking about.

     The first thing that impressed me about him was that he was more focused on the fans and taking pictures and signing autographs then getting into the movie on time. He made sure that every fan there got an autograph and a picture. As we got into the guicetheater to sit down and enjoy the movie, he leaned over and told everyone that food and drinks would be on him. When he said that, I couldn’t believe my ears. I only thought he would buy tickets, but to buy food for everyone really surprised me.

     Following the movie, I managed to sneak in a few questions with the rookie Running Back:

1. Sports Guru: What was your reaction to being drafted by the Redskins?
Derrius Guice: My Reaction to the redskins drafting me was shocking and calming. I was relieved. I felt like my home called me. My brothers called me.

2. SG: What was going through your mind during the draft until you got the call?
DG: Why is this happening to me? Why am I sliding in this draft?

3. SG: How well do you think you will fit into the team’s running scheme?
DG: I will fit perfectly in this scheme to complement the other backs and blockers.

4. SG: What was your visit like to D.C. during the pre-draft process?
DG: Me and [Da’Ron] Payne were both on our visits at the same time and never expected to both be right back here a few weeks later apart of the team.

5. SG: What gave you the idea to buy 50 tickets for you and fans to see Avengers?
DG: I just felt like watching a movie that day and said why not have a few fans come as well.

     The analysists got him wrong, he is a great guy and has such great character, and he will go out there every week to prove his doubters wrong.

Free Agency Mayhem

     As the first week of free agency in the NFL ends, many teams gained certain pieces to help push them toward contender and others lost pieces and fell toward mediocrity. The biggest winner of the first week has to be the Minnesota Vikings once cousinsminnesotathey signed top free agent QB Kirk Cousins from the Redskins for 3 years and $84 million. This move did not shock many people around the NFL or the fans, since it was well publicized that Cousins would be on the move especially with the Redskins acquiring Alex Smith from the Kansas City Chiefs for Kendall Fuller and a third-round pick, what did shock a lot of people was that the contract was fully guaranteed. With this contract, it would make him the highest paid player in NFL history on a per season basis with him earning $28 million a year.

     The first couple of surprises come from one player, Richard Sherman. The first surprise was the Seattle Seahawks released their star player. With this move, it sherman49erseffectively ended the Legion Of Boom. The next surprising move for Sherman was that he decided to sign with the San Fransisco 49ers, a team that Sherman and the Seahawks have owned in the recent years. Sherman signed with the 49ers for three years and $27 million. I believe that this is the best team the 49ers have had since Harbaugh was there. They are also taking momentum into next season since they ended the season on a 5 game winning streak and winning 6 of 7 after starting the season 0-9, it also helps that they have a good QB cemented as the starter for the next five years with Jimmy Garoppolo after he signed the extension in February.

     Another big free agency move was the Arizona Cardinals releasing the Honey Badger Tyrann Mathieu after he would not accept a pay cut. The Cardinals took a honeybadgerchance on him in the third round back in 2013 after he was kicked off the football team at LSU. While in Arizona, Mathieu has impressed many with his ability to find the ball. As a Cardinal he had 307 tackles, 11 interceptions, 4 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and 41 passes defended. Shortly after his release from the Cardinals, Mathieu signed a one year $7 million contract with the Houston Texans to help bolster that secondary.

Other notable free agent moves:
-QB Sam Bradford one year deal with the Cardinals worth $20 million coming over from Minnesota, Bradford is now on his fourth team in four years after spending his first four years in St. Louis where the Rams took him 1st overall out of Oklahoma.

-QB Mike Glennon two year deal with the Cardinals worth $8 million coming from Chicago after one year.

-WR Michael Crabtree three year deal with the Ravens worth $21 million coming over from Oakland.

-QB Aj McCarron two year deal with Bills worth $10 million coming over from the Bengals. Buffalo was in need of QB after trading starter Tyrod Taylor to the Browns. (I’ll go over that in another post)

-WR Allen Robinson three year deal with Chicago worth $42 million coming over from Jacksonville.

-RB Carlos Hyde three year deal with Cleveland worth $15 million coming over from San Fransisco.

-QB Case Keenum two year deal with Denver worth $36 million coming over from Minnesota.

-RB LaGarrette Blount one year deal with Detroit worth $4.5 million coming over from Philadelphia.

-TE Jimmy Graham three year deal with Greenbay worth $30 million coming over from Seattle.

-RB Dion Lewis four year deal with Tennessee worth $20 million coming over from New England.

-CB Malcolm Butler five year deal with Tennessee worth $61.25 million also coming over from New England.

Welcome to the adult table Eagles

     As the clock struck 00, the NFL gained a new champion and a first-time champion. As many people around the country know, the Philadelphia Eagles won Super Bowl 52 against the all mighty New England Patriots for their first Super Bowl in franchise history and their first overall title in 56 years. With that Super Bowl win, the Eagles superbowl winscan finally join the list of teams who have won a Super Bowl in their franchise history. Doug Pederson is the first head coach to win the Super Bowl within the first two years of his HC career since Mike Tomlin in Super Bowl 43 against the Cardinals.

     The list of teams who have not won a Super Bowl drops down to 12 teams now that consist of the Browns, Jaguars, Lions, Texans, Vikings, Bengals, Bills, Panthers, Cardinals, Chargers, Titans, and Falcons. It will be interesting to see who will end their Super Bowl drought next. Most of the teams on that list have the talent to win a championship.

     Going into halftime, the Eagles led 22-12 after dabbling in trickeration by having Tret Burton, a backup Tight End, throw a touchdown to QB Nick Foles, who only started three games all year after star young QB Carson Wentz went down with an ACL tear against the Rams back in week 13. Sadly for the Patriots, Tom “Terrific” Brady did not have the same magic that he had last year when he led the Patriots grahamback from 28-3 to win in OverTime, losing this year 41-33 after a missed hail mary attempt to the end the game for the Patriots. The game was effectively over when Brandon Graham, a DE for the Eagles, got the only sack of the game and forced Tom Brady to fumble the ball deep in the Patriots territory, which led to an Eagles field goal to put them up 41-33.

     Both QB’s had a tremendous game, but only one could come out victorious and folesNick Foles not only led the Eagles to their first Super Bowl win, he also won the MVP after he would go 28 for 43 for 373 yards 3 touchdowns and 1 interceptions and have 1 reception for 1 yard and 1 touchdown.

     As it stands today, the Eagles have the third-best odds for the Super Bowl next year at 17-2 just behind the Patriots who sit at 7-2 odds and the Packers of Greenbay who sit at 8-1 odds. It will be interesting to see how the Eagles do following their championship win. With this loss, the Patriots are tied for the most Super Bowl loses with the Denver Broncos with 5 Super Bowl loses.

bradyloss

 Here is to the 31 other teams trying to deny the Eagles of their second straight championship, but no matter what the Eagles earned this championship and had a great year.

 

Franchise savior or same stupid front office mistake?

     Late Tuesday night, the Washington Redskins shocked the NFL with trading for Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith in exchange for a third-round pick and rising staralexsmith Cornerback Kendall Fuller.

     With the acquisition of Smith, it means that the era of Captain Kirk for the Redskins is over. It also means the end of a period of speculation among fans and sports reporters on is Cousins going to resign or not. Later that night, it was reported that Smith and the Redskins have agreed to a 4-year extension to go along with the 1 year left on his current contract.

     For his career, Alex has a 62.4% completion with 31,888 yards 183 touchdowns and 96 interceptions. Hopefully, he will be able to duplicate his success in Washington that he had in Kansas City. With this signaling the end of the Kirk Cousins era, “Captain” Kirk finishes his Redskins career with completing 65.5% of his passes to go along with 16,206 yards, 99 touchdowns, and 55 interceptions.

     As a Redskins fan myself, I have mixed emotions regarding this trade. I am happy that there is no question about our starting QB position and that we have a committed QB. I am upset about this trade, like many other Redskins fans, due to the fact that the Skins gave up a young talent cornerback in Kendall Fuller. Kendall isfuller coming off the best season of his young career when he led the team in interceptions with 4 picks.

     As many people around the league and the fans know, the defense of the Redskins is not good at all. Yes, the defense is below average. So it doesn’t make sense to me to trade one of your best young defensive players to get a QB that is about to turn 34 years old. Yes, the team needs a solid option at QB, but I believe that it shouldn’t cost you one of your best young players, especially when it comes on the side of the ball that has hurt your team for years.

     I will not be 100% sold on this trade until I see Smith lead this team past the Wild Card round of the playoffs and have continuous success. This isn’t the first timesadrg3 that the Redskins have traded for a QB. Before the 2010 season, they traded for rivalsadmcnabb QB Donovan Mcnabb from the Eagles, two years later, the Redskins traded the farm to get the second overall pick from the then St. Louis Rams to select RG3 out of Baylor. The only difference between Mcnabb’s time in Washington and RG3’s time in Washington is that RG3 got us to the playoffs, but after that, it went downhill fast. Hopefully, third time is the charm and Alex Smith can be what the Redskins were looking for.

     Let’s hope that the front office got this trade right and finally got the right QB, or it is going to be a long season next year and potentially a long few seasons.

Can the Eagles upend Tom Brady and the Mighty Patriots?

        On Sunday, as many fans know, the Eagles will face off against the Patriots for the Super Bowl in Minnesota, but many fans, including myself, did not see the Eagles making it to the big game at the beginning of the season since they had a second year QB and Head Coach.

        With an appearance in the Super Bowl, Doug Pederson is the 25th coach in league history to make it to the big game in his first 3 years of being a Head Coach. The last one to do it was Dan Quinn last year with the Falcons when they had the dougpedersonworst collapse in Super Bowl history. In the previous 24 times, the young coach is 10-14 with the last championship coming for Mike Tomlin, Steelers HC, in Super Bowl 43. Since Super Bowl 43 there have been 5 head coaches early in their careers who reached the big game. Including Tomlin and the coach he went against in Super Bowl 43, Ken Whisenhunt. So if history is a telling of how the game will go, then the Eagles have a small chance at victory.

        When it comes to how the teams stack up against each other numbers-wise eagles ocduring the regular season, they were fairly close to each other and towards the top of the league. The Eagles ranked 3rd in total offense with 395 ypg and the Patriots were right behind them ranking 4th in total offense with 391 ypg. Total defense numberspatricia for them are the same way, the Eagles rank one spot ahead of the Patriots. In total defense, the Eagles rank 2nd with 307 ypg and the Patriots ranked 3rd with 320.5 ypg.

        With losing star QB Carson Wentz to an ACL against the Rams, the Eagles had to carsonturn to a familiar face in Nick Foles. In the two games that Foles started, he went 2-0 while passing for 400 yards 5 touchdowns and 1 interception, but connecting on only 56.5% of his passes. It seems that the Nick Foles in the regular season is gone and replaced with a more accurate QB. In the two playoff games, he is connecting on 77.8% of his passes, while passing for 598 yards and 3 touchdowns, while going against two teams built on defense in the Atlanta Falcons and Minnesota Vikings. We will have to see how he handles the power defense of the New England Patriots.

        When it comes to the Patriots, it seems like the only thing that really changes for them is that they get older. They are the prime example of winning and perfection in bradybelichick2the league. That’s how it goes for a team that is bound for their 8th Super Bowl appearance and looking for their 6th title. It helps for them that they have the greatest coach and one of the greatest QBs the game has ever seen. Tom Brady has not started showing signs of age which is incredible since he is in his early 40’s. This season he passed for 4577 yards with 32 touchdowns against 8 interceptions while connecting on 66.3% of his completions.

        If the Eagles can not slow Brady down, then that defense is going to be in for a long game. In his 5 Super Bowl wins, Brady has thrown for 305.8 ypg, in the 2 loses to brady3the Giants, he averages 271 ypg. So if the Eagles can slow Brady down, they have a good chance to win.

Prediction: 31-14 Patriots (even though I want to see them lose, I really believe that they just are just a better overall team and have more experience.)

Why football gods?!?!?

        Many NFL fans were not excited about this rematch since the Patriots have reached yet another Super Bowl, with them having an appearance in the Super Bowl in three of the last four years including this appearance and having won their two brady2previous appearances including the incredible comeback against the Falcons and Matt Ryan a year ago, but they have made it to the AFC conference title game seven straight years. Their string of seven consecutive conference appearances is an NFL record. No one else has more than four straight appearances.

        No matter if you hate or love the Patriots, all NFL fans can admit that what they have been able to do under Belichick and Brady is incredible. Over their time together, those two have led the Patriots to 5 Super Bowl wins in 7 attempts, not including this appearance, they have made it to the conference championship 12 times, and the worse record that they have is 9-7. They are too successful and it’s annoying!

        The Patriots in this century are like the Boston Celtics of the late 50’s to mid-late 60’s when the Celtics won 11 titles in 13 years. After a while, a dynasty has to end. bradyThe football gods need to hurry up and end this dynasty, which within the next three to four years it will end with either Brady, Belichick or both retiring from the game. But for now, they are the prime example of winning not just in the present day NFL, but throughout the history of the league as well.

        In the end, there is no arguing that Brady and Belichick are two of the greatest to ever roam an NFL sideline. They have the most Super Bowl wins of any coach-quarterback combo in league history. Every good thing has to come to an end bradybelichicksometime, and the finish line of this dynasty may be coming into sight with Brady turning 41 in August, and Belichick being in his 23rd season as a Head Coach. Not many coaches can last that long in the league and especially not into their mid-late 60’s.