FRUSTRATION

FRUSTRATION

(USA TODAY SPORTS)
How to sum up the final game for the Cowboys season……..frustration is not enough. Sadness, disappointment maybe, but it was absolutely frustrating. The Dallas Cowboys threw away their season on an awful final play in Arlington on Sunday, losing to the San Francisco 49ers 23-17. Talking about the final play Dallas should not have needed the final play to win the game as throughout the season they have averaged 32 points per game and over 400 yards per game, this should have been a comfortable win, especially seeing that Jimmy G did sod all in the game.

First point; penalties. 14 PENALTIES?!? I spoke about this being a problem for the Cowboys, the indiscipline of the team. Randy Gregory and Connor Williams seem to get penalised for holding or false start penalties twice every game and it annoys me. I counted eight penalties that either gave the Niners a 1st down or took one from Dallas. In the first half, the Niners ran the ball about twice down the field, and the other yards were covered by penalties. It is stupid, it is indiscipline, and it is downright lazy. What the Cowboys do is rely on their talented defensive playmakers to win the game for them (Micah Parsons/Trevon Diggs) and when that doesn’t work then they are in real trouble.

(Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Well, I gotta say that the performance of one $120 million quarterback proved my point that he is overpaid and overrated. How can you play a home playoff game and finish with a QBR of 27??? That’s atrocious, it is ridiculous, but it is the true Dak Prescott. I mean he turned up in the 4th quarter as usual, but the game’s gone. Why now? Where were you the previous three quarters? Throwing picks, overthrowing targets, not targeting CeeDee at all because Cooper wanted to say “oh I’m not being targeted enough” man up! You aren’t targeted because you aren’t performing, simple!

Over $100 million was placed on him and now I want him as far from Texas as possible. Send him to the Jets or the Jags because he has become useless. Zeke has not been Zeke all season and last night the most memorable moment was when he took out two guys to protect Prescott in the pocket. After the game on Cowboys OT, he mentioned he played with a torn PCL which may explain a bit but not all. Tony Pollard who is young, playoff debut, even returning from Covid-19, but he was starved. T.P had about 5 carries in the game and all were between four to nine yards, but the ground game wasn’t chosen. I’m not even gonna talk about Cedric Wilson’s crucial drop on 4th & 11 because he was only in the game because Michael Gallup is out for a few months.

As owner, CEO, and General Manager Jerry Jones said after the game to the media “when you have a team like this you expect success.” Expect a busy offseason from the ‘boys in the coaching staff with the futures of offensive Coordinator Kellen Moore and Defensive Coordinator Dan Quinn uncertain as both are up for Head Coaching jobs for next season. You can expect moves on the roster as well because you don’t get paid that much to play that bad, this is not Barcelona.

(FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM)
Randy Gregory is a brilliant player but a costly player. Amari Cooper can be a top-five receiver on his day, but those days are too far apart, Dak Prescott, for me, was never a top 10 QB in the league. Demarcus Lawrence was paid $100 million for a 10+ sack season, and ever since he has barely made it half that. The team needs a shake-up, a cultural reboot, and this is the offseason to do this.

To compete with the likes of Tampa Bay, Green Bay, Arizona on the NFC, and Kansas City, Buffalo, and Cincinnati on the AFC, you need a strong coaching staff, a defensive lineman who puts the fear of God in opponents, receivers who show up in any condition, and a QB that doesn’t leave it late every time. Quinnen Williams is an interior defender that would massively upgrade that Cowboys defense.

Back to my earlier point, trading Cooper to the Jets for Williams should be a no-brainer especially since New York wants to build a team around their QB, Zach Wilson. Williams brings a quickness that Neville Gallimore lacks, and awareness with his six sacks last season, second compared to only Micah Parsons (13). The 24-year-old is inexperienced, yes, but if the Cowboys can keep Dan Quinn, this boy would be an absolute beast.

BLEACHER REPORT
The list of Quarterbacks is long this offseason with many out of contract or wanting to move from their current organization, so there are options. Torn between two options to lead the offense next season; either Russell Wilson or re-unite Mike McCarthy with the man who brought him to the promised land: Aaron Rodgers. Wilson I believe has 1-2 good years left in him and he would think he has a lot to prove after his finger injury earlier in the season, which led to his poor run of form.

Rodgers expressed his desire to leave the Packers for the last couple of years and putting him in America’s team would be a fairy-tale ending to a star-studded career. The reigning MVP is lights out, aging like fine wine and would revolutionize the team for the better. Think about it, if you are Aaron do you continue to be in an offense with Davante Adams as your only target, or do you go to Jerry world, be the face of the franchise, and have CeeDee Lamb, a fit Michael Gallup, and even a 3rd receiver of his choice, Allen Robinson comes to mind.

(NFL)
Finally not to say you bring these players in then the Super Bowl is wrapped and the season should be canceled already, who is to say McCarthy is the man to lead them to that prestige? A head coach the Cowboys could be looking at is Brian Flores, but that won’t be a Super Bowl push. The ideal coaching option is the best African-American coach in the league, Mike Tomlin. After that coaching debacle when you call a QB draw with no timeouts, 14 seconds left, the writing was on the wall for McCarthy.

With Ben Rothlisberger retiring and rumors of the GM doing the same, it does not make sense for Tomlin to return either. Leading the team with the largest fanbase in the league, and Tomlin is a man who welcomes pressure, might as well sit back and relax because the proper Mike is in charge. A coach that can manage a game, has great play designs and execution, yes, please!

Are They For Real?

Are They For Real?

(Getty Images)
The dynasty above was the 1997/98 season of the NBA season, Chicago Bulls undoubtedly had the best starting five including Dennis Rodman, Scottie Pippen, and the great Michael Jordan. Fast forward 22 years and the Bulls are looking like a team that may finally after all this time to make a playoff run. With the offseason additions of DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball to team up with Zach LaVine, some people wrote them off as just “names.” I wonder how they feel now.
(Getty Images)
The Bulls are the best team in the Eastern Conference (by record) with a 1.5 game lead on second-placed Brooklyn, and 2.5 over the defending champion Bucks. Led by a scorer like DeRozan with 26.9 points per game, a glass bully like Vooch with 11.6 rebounds per game, Ball who shoots 41% from 3 point range, Alex Caruso who leads the league in steals per game (2.0), and monster Zach LaVine who would dunk on his mama if she’s in the lane shooting nearly 50% from the field, Chicago could see more than four games in the playoffs this season.

DeRozan was a trade that people frowned upon but he has shut up all his haters this season. The 6-foot-6 forward has been a revelation since arriving in Illinois with his MVP caliber performances, yes I said M-V-P. Performances when it matters and consistency is what puts him in this conversation. I mean yeah he is probably behind LeBron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Trae Young, and Ja Morant, but he has been a breath of fresh air for the Bulls fans.

(SkySports)
Chicago tried to recreate the playoff pushing team when they assembled a roster including the likes of Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, and Jimmy Butler in 2013 but was unsuccessful in making a real charge, whether it was poor shooting or Rose’s knees, it was never enough.

Now is the time they can take advantage of. Having a consistent scorer like DeRozan, and an all-around player like LaVine, a playmaker like Lonzo, sticky hands like Caruso, and a big like Vooch and the tutelage of Billy Donovan, I don’t see why they cannot go to the Conference Finals.

(Getty Images)
If the season was to end today, the playoff picture would suit the Bulls so well. As number 1 they would play the winner of the play-in tournament game between the number 9 (Wizards) and number 10 (Knicks) team. This makes it favourable because say the Bulls breeze the first round, one of Miami or Philadelphia would not be in the 2nd round. Yes they have a chance of meeting Giannis in the second round, but it is a game of four quarters and seven games; anything can happen.

If Chicago was to have a Cinderella run like the Phoenix Suns unexpectedly did last season, it would cause an uproar especially in Oklahoma City where Donovan was for the past decade and was unable to win with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden. We still have a long way to go, the Eastern Conference is up in the air so a prediction would not be ideal at this moment, but if DeRozan balls like the rap songs suggest he can then things are gonna get scary, but not for them.

Contenders vs. Pretenders

Contenders vs. Pretenders

(Getty Images)
With the NFL season entering the final game week, the playoff picture is finally starting to take shape. Some teams have shown as if they can be on their way for a playoff run, but they are just pretenders. The Green Bay Packers have solidified top spot in the NFC after a 37-10 victory over the now eliminated Minnesota Vikings, making the route to the Super Bowl from an NFC standpoint through Lambeau Field. Are the Packers genuine contenders? When you have the MVP as your starting QB then you’ve got a decent chance of winning something. Aaron Rodgers, barring a few off-field issues, has been outstanding for another season despite the one target he has got to work with.

Teams like the Dallas Cowboys and the Los Angeles Rams are dark horses to make playoff pushes. Dallas with arguably the best 1-2 punch at the RB position, the best defensive players such as Micah Parsons who is being compared to the great Lawrence Taylor, and Trevon Diggs who picks everything going his way. The Rams with a finally recognized Cooper Kupp tearing secondaries apart, and Matthew Stafford who is finally in a good situation could both cause upsets.

(Anthony Souffle)
How about the Cardinals? The team with the Quarterback that is undefeated at AT&T stadium including high school, college, and now professional. Remember they started the season as the only undefeated team (8-0) and then went through a rough patch where they even lost to the Detroit Lions. With Deandre Hopkins out for the season as well, it is a huge task for the Kyler and Kliff duo to overthrow the Packers or even the “dramatic” Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay had an eventful year losing Wide Receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin to hamstring and knee injuries (and later Covid-19), Running Back Leonard Fournette for the season, and Antonio Brown firstly for an alleged federal offense, and later during the 28-24 win over the Jets when he walked off the field mid-game. It was later announced by head coach Bruce Arians that Brown was “no longer a Buc.” The Super Gremlin strikes again.

(Getty Images)
The AFC is a bit more straightforward I think. The Chiefs are gonna be the team to beat with that Arrowhead crowd behind them. Mahomes started “average” by his standards but settled and showed the MVP version of himself, albeit wasn’t pretty all the time he got the job done. The Bills with strong-arm Josh Allen, are only gonna be victims of themselves. Allen’s decision-making has been the issue in past seasons and it may come to pass that this is what ultimately eliminates them. The Patriots led by rookie Mac Jones have shocked many in the NFL world but just shows how good coach Belichick is.

The real surprise has got to be the Cincinnati Bengals because I am not sure if I am the only one, but Joe Burrow over the last two games looked like classic Joe Montana. He has been absolutely incredible especially when he can just say “eff if Ja’Marr is down there somewhere.” Ja’Marr Chase; offensive rookie of the year and it’s not even close, they could do the unprecedented and push for the divisional round.

NFC CONTENDERS

GREEN BAY PACKERS
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
DALLAS COWBOYS

NFC PRETENDERS

ARIZONA CARDINALS
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES
SAN FRANSICO 49ERS/SAINTS

DARK HORSE

LOS ANGELES RAMS

AFC CONTENDERS

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS
BUFFALO BILLS
 

AFC PRETENDERS

TENNESSEE TITANS
INDIANAPOLIS COLTS
 

DARK HORSE

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
CINCINNATI BENGALS
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Will Kyrie Irving’s Return Benefit or Hurt The Nets?

Will Kyrie Irving’s Return Benefit or Hurt The Nets?

With the recent news of Kyrie Irving making a part-time return to the NBA, what will this mean for the Nets? To go into deeper detail about the circumstances for his return, Irving will only be playing away games where he’s eligible to play. But, how can this affect the Nets?
On Sunday, Kyrie Irving made 10 of his 11 shots in his return to the Nets. Credit…Kathy Willens/Associated Press
The positives of this situation are that opposing teams have to gameplan for James Harden, Patty Mills, and Kyrie Irving in the one spot, which can complicate things. Another positive is that the nets are currently the second seed without him, and now with him, there’s a strong possibility that they can retake the first seed. To add to my last point, Irving’s overall impact and presence can now take less pressure from Harden and Kevin Durant, the team-leading scorers. With the Nets star trio back and healthy, this can still be the best team in the east and possibly the league. Lastly, since he can practice, he can help look at the scout team during home practices.
https://www.sportingnews.com/au/nba/news/stat-just-happened-the-skys-the-limit-for-brooklyn-nets-kyrie-irving-james-harden-and-kevin-durant/1fehjobiob6ef1rrlrjrknzy33
However, there are negative possibilities in his return, and one of them is chemistry issues. Irving’s last recorded game was during last year’s playoff run against the Bucks in game 4 in the Eastern semi-finals. So it’s been roughly seven months since being with the team, which can cause a few issues, especially since they’ve signed and lost people since then. He hasn’t played with a team and has only been doing private practices on his own, so going from being acclimated to only yourself to playing with a team is a significant change. A second issue is his availability. Since he’s only available for away games, this can cause personnel problems. For example, if Patty Mills got injured before a home game, the Nets would have to put Harden back at the one and bring someone up from the bench and or sign out of free agency to fill back in that spot. Finally, a major problem I can see possibly coming is in the playoffs. When the postseason comes around, will Irving’s availability be the same, and will that become an issue for the organization? Especially with the rampant Omicron variant, there’s a slight chance Irving’s part-time availability with the team can get shut down.

At the end of the day, these are all speculations on what can happen soon as he returns to play on January 5th.