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Let’s Check In & See How The Cleveland Browns Are Doing…Oh It’s Bad

I’m a 49ers fan so I can’t really talk too much trash, but good lord is this sad. Imagine being a fan of a team that is tweeting out hype videos for Brock Osweiler? That’s got to be rock bottom. Again, the 49ers aren’t great either, but at least they have a new coach, GM, QB and semi revamped defense. Cleveland has Brock Osweiler. My favorite part is that most of the footage in that video was definitely from training camp. He can complete training camp passes! Give Cleveland the Lombardi trophy now.

-Ryan

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The Patriots Brought In Actual Goats For Tom Brady’s 40th Birthday Practice

Tom Brady turns 40 today (and shares a birthday with my mother, the REAL G.O.AT.) and the Patriots celebrated the man who is almost always referred to as the G.O.A.T with some actual goats at practice today. After last year’s come from behind Super Bowl victory, it’s getting tougher and tougher to argue that Brady isn’t the G.O.A.T., and it’s getting to the point where if you rank him anywhere outside of the top 1 or 2 your opinion shouldn’t be trusted. Happy birthday to Tom Terrific, and if you’re looking for a great article to read about him on his birthday, check out this fantastic ESPN piece.

-Ryan

Eddie Lacy Made An Extra $55,000 Today For Being Under 250 Pounds

What a time to be alive. I was trying to think of something to compare this to in the real world but I’m drawing a blank. I understand that there’s a difference between being a professional athlete and doing literally anything else, but a 250 pound weight clause is basically giving away money. If this was a 225 pound clause or 215 maybe I’d give Lacy some credit, but the guy is 5 foot 11 inches tall. Asking him to not be a 250 pound plus ball of dough shouldn’t be too difficult, especially when you’re dangling $55K in front of his face. If I’m Eddie Lacy I’m using this bonus and going on an eating spree the likes this world has ever seen. Do your thing, Eddie. You deserve it?

-Ryan

Colin Kaepernick Continues To Help Out Communities By Handing Out Suits Outside NY Parole Offices

Photo: Instagram

via 100suits

Colin Kaepernick, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and current free agent, may not yet be sure where he’s headed next season, but he’s nevertheless making his free time count.

Kap’s good deed is in partnership with 100 Suits, an organization that aims to provide suits and workwear to men and woman preparing for job interviews, as well as tailoring and grooming services. – WMUR

The ballad of Colin Kaepernick is an interesting one. He came on the scene like a bolt of lightning and brought the 49ers all the way to the Super Bowl under coach Jim Harbaugh. Once Harbaugh was ousted, Kaepernick was out of the spotlight as quickly as he entered it, and that’s when things started getting testy. He notoriously kneeled during the national anthem during last year’s games as a protest towards the treatment of African Americans and minorities in the US. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, that is the first and sometimes only thing people will bring up when discussing Kaepernick. “He kneeled during the anthem and he was wrong!”. That’s the consensus among a lot of people, and they don’t take into account that this was something Kaep thought long and hard about for a long time, and discussedwith his family and friends before finally deciding to take a stand. For someone with very little to gain besides hate and contempt to do something like he did seemed honorable to me, and while I may not agree with the action of kneeling during the national anthem, I respected his right to do it.

With the kneeling controversy dying down and Kaepernick himself saying he will stand for the national anthem this year (if he finds a team), it seems like the media doesn’t have much use for Kaep anymore. That’s a shame, because all he’s done over the past year is donate close to a million dollars to charities and social causes, including Meals on Wheels, Life After Hate Inc., Silence is Violence and the above mentioned 100 Suits. This is also all being done while Kaepernick is out of a job, as NFL teams don’t want the stigma of signing someone with a negative image in the media (unless they beat their wives or girlfriends or stockpile assault weapons). Again, the Kaepernick story is unfortunate but not surprising, as a person can only stand up for what they believe in if it’s convenient for everyone else too. I stand by Kaepernick’s charity work, and I look forward to the donations he’ll be making in the future.

-Ryan

 

The 49ers Picked Solomon Thomas & Reuben Foster In The First Round Of The #NFLDraft

Most mock drafts had the San Francisco 49ers taking Stanford defensive end Solomon Thomas at No. 2 overall in the 2017 NFL Draft. Those drafts were wrong, because the 49ers DIDN’T take Thomas … until No. 3 overall, a whole pick later after they traded down with the Chicago Bears.

That’s right, the 49ers took the player most expected, and they did it after earning an extra 2017 third-round pick, 2017 fourth-round pick and a 2018 third-round pick. But they weren’t done there, sneaking back into the first round at No. 31, where they grabbed linebacker Reuben Foster of Alabama. – Niners Nation

Epic Success!

Fans usually have two emotions following their teams fist round picks in the NFL Draft: elation or depression. It’s very rare to finish up round 1 and have a level headed opinion of the players your team just got, and that’s why I went with the elated GIF above. Solomon Thomas was the name most scouts and draft analyzers were throwing around for the #2 pick the 49ers were holding onto, but John Lynch and co. threw everyone a curveball at the last second. While they ended up selecting Thomas, they did so at #3 and orchestrated a trade with the Bears that netted them two later round picks this year and a third round pick in 2018. The Bears moved up a spot to grab Mitchell Trubisky and the 49ers took Thomas, but Unpredictable John wasn’t through yet.

Lynch made another trade, this time with division rival Seattle. The 49ers traded the Seahawks the #34 pick in the second plus the #111 pick in the fourth round to move up three spots to #31 in the first round. They selected Alabama LB Reuben Foster with that 31st pick, who could end up being the steal of the draft. While the 49ers still have some holes to fill on offense, I’d rather play with Hoyer/Barkley at QB and Garcon/Goodwin/Kerley/Robinson at WR than trot out a defense that made no upgrades from last year. I’m not expecting magic from a team that finished 2-14 last year, but it’s clear that Lynch and Shanahan have a vision for this team and are doing everything possible to get the right pieces in place. Plus, we left round 1 with one more pick than we had going into the night.

As far as the two picks the 49ers did make, here is how they’re described over on 49ers.com

Round 1: Pick 3 – Solomon Thomas DL, Stanford

Thomas, (6’3, 273) is regarded as one of the top pass-rushers in this year’s draft. This past year, Thomas was named first team All-Pac-12, third team All-American and won the Morris Trophy as the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. Thomas started all 13 games totaling 62 total tackles, 14 for loss, and 8.5 sacks.

Round 1: Pick 31 – Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama

A unanimous first-team All-American and All-SEC pick. Foster, (6’0, 229) was named Butkis Award winner as the nation’s best linebacker. He was named MVP of the SEC Championship Game against Crimson and finished 2016 with 115 tackles, 13 for losses, and five sacks in 2016.

P.S.

Hey Goodell, talk much? You’re reading off a goddamn card. Foster shouldn’t give you that much trouble to say. And if you don’t think I’m starting up a fan club called The Cake Froster’s that dresses up as pastry chefs for every 49ers game then I guess you don’t know me at all.

-Ryan

Your Average Pick For Super Bowl 51

There are three things the Average Nobodies don’t partake in: drinking low fat milk, wearing the same two socks and using roman numerals. That’s why this is a Super Bowl 51 prediction blog, not a Super Bowl random capital letters blog. Anyway, we’re finally here. The wild card, divisional and championship rounds of the playoffs are complete and we’re down to the last two surviving teams. Will Tom Brady win his record breaking 5th Super Bowl or will Matt Ryan win his 1st? No matter the outcome, this game should be fantastic. Both teams are playing great football, as the Pats just ended Pittsburgh’s 9 game win streak to advance and the Falcons ended Green Bay’s 8 gamer. Here’s how I picture fans of both teams dealing with lead changes throughout the game:

Joey heh

The story of this game in most preview posts is about the Falcons top ranked offense versus the Patriots top ranked defense, but the beauty of both these teams is how balanced they are on both sides of the ball. The Falcons defense has been ferocious in the playoffs, blitzing teams constantly and refusing to let opposing offenses get into a rhythm. While the Seahawks offensive line has been in shambles all season, the Atlanta defense was especially impressive last week versus the Packers. Rodgers and Green Bay dominated opposing defenses over the last half of the season and into the playoffs, but thanks to constant pressure from the Falcons, they were never able to get going and faced a 24-0 deficit at halftime. The Falcons did this against an offensive line that was giving Rodgers all day to either scramble or find open receivers during their 8 game win streak , and they’ll need to be even better against Tom Brady.

While the Pats defense was ranked #1 this year in points allowed, their offense hasn’t been too shabby either, and most of that credit has to go to the ageless Tom Brady. The only way the Falcons are going to win is if they mimic and execute the game plans of the Giants and Broncos from playoff game’s past. In the 2008 Super Bowl, the Giants sacked Brady eight times and pressured him pretty much all game. In the 2012 Super Bowl, the Giants only sacked Brady twice, but they again pressured him all day, even forcing a 1st quarter intentional grounding penalty that lead to the first nine points of the game for New York. The Broncos did more of the same in the 2016 AFC Championship game, sacking Brady four times, picking him off twice and allowing him to complete only 48% of his passes. While the stats paint a picture of those three games, watching them live tell the whole story. Brady was unable to hit his running backs or receivers because of constant pressure, and even if he wasn’t sacked or picked off, he was getting knocked down or rushed.

The key for the Falcons will be blitzing and getting to Brady frequently, but that’s easier said than done. A lot of that has to do with this stat I found in Bill Barnwell’s Super Bowl preview: “when defenses blitzed him this year, Brady went 61-of-99 for 838 yards with 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions, taking just two sacks in the process”. That has to be a depressing stat if you’re a Falcons fan, because it basically tells you there’s no stopping Tom Brady. You can’t sit back and coverage without pressure, because he’ll pick you apart. You also can’t blitz him every down, because he’s been almost perfect against those packages this year. Assuming the Falcons blitz consistently, Brady won’t have a lot of time to find receivers down the field. If that’s the case, the key for Brady is going to be Dion Lewis and James White out of backfield, as well as pounding the ball inside with Blount. LeGarrette will be especially important because of the presence of NFL sack leader Vic Beasley, who will be looking to pressure Tom Brady on passing downs. Another stat to pay attention to from Barnwell’s article: “When opposing teams have three or more wideouts on the field, Beasley has played 74.6 percent of snaps. When they have two wideouts or fewer, Beasley’s playing time dips to just 19.7 percent of snaps”. If the Pats can keep Beasley off the field AND have success with Blount, this game will be over by halftime.

Working in the Falcons favor is their supremely talented offense, but they’ll be going against a Bill Belichick defense that has had two weeks to prepare. That sounds like a cliché, but the guy has already won 6 Super Bowls as a defensive coordinator or head coach, so it’s safe to say he knows a little bit about preparing for an offense. Belichick specializes in taking away the best player or part of an opposing teams offense, and that will start and end with Julio Jones. Julio has had a quiet postseason so far, combining for only 15 catches, 247 yards and three touchdowns. While New England neutralized Antonio Brown last week, with all respect to AB, Jones is a different kind of monster and has a better quarterback. AB is listed at 5’10 180 while Jones is listed at 6’4 220, and Julio is able to be a dual threat at all times. He’s bigger and stronger than most corners, which is invaluable around the goal line, but he’s also a menace after the catch which he showed on last week’s 73 yard touchdown vs. Green Bay. Much like neutralizing Brady, shutting down Jones is easier said than done. Similar to Lewis and White for the Pats, Atlanta has a 1-2 punch of their own in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Both are great pass catchers and excel at YAC, so if New England starts to get pressure on Matt Ryan, expect a lot of screens and dump offs.

The only thing left to do is play the game. Pats are favored by 3 points with an over/under sitting at 58. I’m going with Tom Brady to win his fifth ring, and I think it’s time we have a serious discussion about renaming the Lombardi Trophy the Belichick Trophy.

Pick: Patriots 41 Falcons 28

Colts Punter Pat McAfee Has Retired From The NFL To Join Barstool Sports #OwnTheMoon

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In case you’ve been living under a combination of sticks and moss (living under a rock is overused) Barstool Sports has been dominating late night television this week with The Rundown on Comedy Central. It’s a condensed version of their usual podcast featuring El Pres, KFC & Big Cat, and if you haven’t checked out the podcast or the three episodes that aired on CC this week then you’re really missing out. They can be a little over the top but they’re funny, and I think we could all use a little funny right now. While the first two nights were relatively calm, last night they dropped a bombshell: 29 year old Indianapolis Colts punter Pat McAfee simultaneously announced his retirement and that he’d be joining Barstool in an exclusive press conference. They were hyping a huge announcement all day on social media with the hashtag ‘own the moon’, but nobody had any idea what it was. I wouldn’t have been able to guess an active NFL punter was joining their team in my wildest dreams. Barstool is becoming a legit powerhouse in the media because of their work ethic and constant content, and if they’re able to continue to add professional athletes to their team, they might actually end up owning the moon.

-Ryan

Your Average Picks For The NFL Playoffs – Championship Round

And then there were four. The first two weeks of the playoff’s are behind us, and four teams survived to make it to Championship Sunday. Green Bay invades Atlanta while Pittsburgh tries to do the almost impossible and beat Tom Brady in January in New England. Here are our predictions.

Green Bay @ Atlanta (-5)

Both home teams are decent favorites this weekend, but the NFC title game is the only one I can see being an upset. Here’s how I picture Vegas sports books who are rooting for the under watching this game:

Enough!

The over/under on this game is a whopping 60.5, but I’d be shocked if we saw anything less than 70 overall points scored. In Green Bay’s case, last week’s game showed us two things: Aaron Rodgers may be some type of human/sorcerer hybrid and Green Bay’s defense can’t hold a lead. Luckily for Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers will still be there QB Sunday. Unfortunately, they’ll also trot out the same defense, except this time they’re facing Matt Ryan and the Falcons. Ryan will most likely win the MVP this year, and for good reason. He threw for 38 TDs against only 7 interceptions while completing 70% of his passes. That was good for a 117.1 QB rating, which happened to be the best in the league. Last week against a Seattle defense that was 8th against the pass this year, Ryan threw for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns. Green Bay was 31st against the pass this year, and gave up over 300 yards and 3 touchdowns to Dak Prescott last week. Unless GB can force some turnovers, not even Aaron Rodgers will be able to save them.

Which brings me to Aaron Rodgers. While he finally threw an interception last week (breaking his streak of 22 TDs without a pick) he also did this:

He’s playing out of his mind right now, and he’s the only reason the Falcons aren’t favored by double digits in this game. The bad news for Rodgers and the Packers is that he’ll either be without Jordy Nelson and Davante Adams or they’ll be extremely limited. Coach Mike McCarthy said today that if this were a regular season game both guys wouldn’t be playing, which is never a good sign. Also, Atlanta’s defense looked great last week, picking off Russell Wilson twice. If they’re able to force even one turnover from Rodgers, that could be enough to put away the Packers with the way Matt Ryan and the Falcons offense is playing.

Pick: Falcons 45 Green Bay 34

Pittsburgh @ New England (-6)

Isn’t is funny how teams going up against the Patriots always seem to shoot themselves in the foot before the game even starts? Whether it’s Rex Ryan or Richard Sherman, the way other teams behave when they’re playing the Pats is like clock work. Someone opens their mouth and calls out the Patriots, they play the game and Tom Brady and Bill Belichick move on to the next round or win the Super Bowl. The most recent example we have is thanks to Antonio Brown and Mike Tomlin. Brown decided that going on Facebook live during a postgame victory speech by his coach was a good idea, and caught Tomlin calling the Patriots assholes. In the grand scheme of things that’s pretty minor, but do you really want to give the Patriots more ammo heading into this game? You’re already 6 point underdogs, and earlier in the day you watched Brady and Belichick improve to 119-21 at home in their careers, including 16-2 in the playoffs. Maybe shut your mouth and hope Le’Veon Bell can score you a hundred touchdowns. Anyway, here’s what I think Pittsburgh fans will look like after the game:

Fozzie F

There are a lot of stats that prove Brady and Belichick’s dominance, especially at home, but it comes down to one simple point: they just don’t lose. Recently, they haven’t even TRAILED IN A GAME. Check out this stat I found on Twitter:

How insane is that? That’s without Gronk, and without their ‘best defensive player’ Jaimie Collins who they traded away midseason. No matter what happens, the Pats always find a way to win. Most of my friends are Patriots fans, and playing Pittsburgh was their worst case scenario, but that’s only because the other options in the AFC were almost comical. The other four AFC teams that the Pats could’ve played were the Raiders (without Derek Carr), the Dolphins (without Ryan Tannehill), the Chiefs (Andy Reid, play caller. Enough Said) & the Texans. They played the Texans last week and won a very ugly game, but again, they still didn’t trail the entire time. While Pittsburgh might be the toughest matchup for them, they’re only tough compared to the other birthday cake matchups they could’ve had.

As far as Pittsburgh goes, Ben showed last week why his team is so much worse on the road, as he threw for 224 yards, 0 TDs and 1 interception. Pittsburgh won that game thanks to Le’Veon Bell, Chris Boswell and Alex Smith being Alex Smith. While Bell has been unstoppable all year, Belichick specializes in taking away your best weapon, and if I’m aware of Ben’s home/road splits, I’m going to assume Belichick is too. He’ll do his best to focus on Bell and make Ben beat him through the air, something Roethlisberger hasn’t proven he can do on the road against a decent defense. Also, if Pittsburgh is banking on Brady playing anywhere near as bad as Alex Smith did, they should forfeit now.

Pick: Patriots 38 Steelers 26

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