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  • Week 14: Josh Gordon Scores First TD Since 2013 Season

    December 10, 2017 • AFC, AFC North, Cleveland Browns, Features, Front PageComments (0)

    …..And, he’s back!

    Technically, Cleveland Browns receiver Josh Gordon returned last week, catching four passes for 85 yards in a 19-10 loss to the LA Chargers.

    But this week against Green Bay, Gordon scored his first touchdown since his All-Pro season in 2013 (87 catches, 1,646 yards, 9 TD). His last TD, before today, came against the Chicago Bears December 15, 2013. So almost four years to the day.

    So far this afternoon, Gordon has reeled in three catches for 69 yards and a touchdown as his winless Browns lead the Packers 14-7 with just under two minutes to play in the first half.

    Photo: Jason Miller/Getty Images

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  • CFB: Baker Mayfield Wins 2017 Heisman Trophy Award

    December 9, 2017 • Breaking News, Front Page, History, NCAAComments (0)

    The three 2017 Heisman Trophy finalists:

    *Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB (20 years old): 3,489 passing yards, 25 TD, 6 INT, 151.5 rating; 1,443 rushing yards, 17 TD
    *Bryce Love, Stanford RB (20 years old): 1,973 rushing yards, 17 rushing touchdowns on 237 carries (8.3 YPC)
    *Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB (22 years old): 4,340 passing yards, 41 TD, 5 INT, 203.8 rating; 310 rushing yards, 5 TD

    ….And the winner is (announced approximately 9 p.m. ET Saturday, Dec. 9)…

    Baker Mayfield

    In a Week 10 win, Mayfield tossed for a school-record 598 yards and five touchdowns, which is the game that likely won him the Heisman this year.

    Photo: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

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  • Best Foote Forward: Jordan’s Week 14 NFL Picks

    December 9, 2017 • Features, Front Page, Lists, PredictionsComments (0)

    Week 14 of the NFL season kicked off Thursday night when the New Orleans Saints traveled to Atlanta to square off against the Falcons in what turned out to be a thrilling Atlanta Falcons come-from-behind victory.
    The Sunday night game features the Baltimore Ravens in Pittsburgh facing the Steelers and the week will be capped off on Monday when the Patriots roll into Miami to play the Dolphins.
    Notice how every primetime game this week is a divisional one?
    It’s getting to that point in the season.
    Let’s improve from last week’s 10-6 record for picks. 16-0? Find out who’s going to win and lose below!

    Indianapolis Colts (3-9) @ Buffalo Bills (6-6) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Buffalo needs to win this game but with the QB situation up in the air, it’s hard to pick them. With that said, I’m still going to do it. If Tyrod Taylor can play, Buffalo will cruise to a victory. If he can’t go, Nathan Peterman is going to beat Jacoby Brissett at his own game – impersonating a starting quarterback.
    The Pick: Bills 27, Colts 17 (with Taylor) or Bills 21, Colts 17 (with Peterman)

    Dallas Cowboys (6-6) @ New York Giants (2-10) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Eli Manning is going to be hungry for revenge on the NFL after having his consecutive starts streak snapped at 210 at the hands of Ben McAdoo (and company). McAdoo is no longer in the picture and Manning is back in the starting lineup. He’ll play a good game, but it won’t be enough to defeat a Cowboys team who is playing for its playoff-bound lives. If Dallas loses this game, it can kiss the postseason goodbye. Dak lives on another week.
    The Pick: Cowboys 27, Giants 20

    Detroit Lions (6-6) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-8) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Detroit suffered an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Ravens last week, a loss in which Matthew Stafford injured his throwing hand. Stafford is tough as nails so I’m expecting him to be able to go on Sunday, Tampa Bay is bad enough that I’m comfortable picking Detroit to win in a bounce-back game for the entire squad. Jameis will not eat a W this week.
    The Pick: Lions 24, Buccaneers 19

    Oakland Raiders (6-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (6-6) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    I’m not going to pick Kansas City this week. I’m not going to pick Kansas City this week. I’m not going to pick Kansas City this week. I’ve picked the Chiefs every week this season and it worked early on but now, nada. With Marcus Peters suspended for this game, Derek Carr should have a big game regardless of whether Amari Cooper is able to play. Michael Crabtree is back from his suspension and the Chiefs’ defense is so bad that Oakland should put up plenty of points in this one. It’ll be a shootout and Kansas City has home-field advantage but with how things have went lately, Oakland will pull it out late in the 4th quarter (again).
    The Pick: Raiders 40, Chiefs 34

    San Francisco 49ers (2-10) @ Houston Texans (4-8) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    I’m going with an upset in this one (is it really an upset?) Tom Savage has been nothing short of mediocre this year for the Texans and I like Jimmy Garoppolo’s chances of improving after last week’s meh performance. He’ll throw a touchdown this week, probably more than that. The 49ers will pick up their second straight win and their third overall this season.
    The Pick: 49ers 24, Texans 16

    Green Bay Packers (6-6) @ Cleveland Browns (0-12) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    The Packers are assuming they’re going to win this game when talking about Aaron Rodgers’ return in a little over a week, and I’m not going to correct them. Cleveland has a legitimate shot at not winning a single game this season, with this one being no exception. All Brett Hundley has to do is outplay DeShone Kizer. I think he can do that.
    The Pick: Packers 21, Browns 13

    Chicago Bears (3-9) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-7) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Cincinnati’s surprisingly solid performance against Pittsburgh last week convinced me that this game isn’t going to be close. Andy Dalton is quietly having a very solid season and as long as his defense can hold off the “great” Mitchell Trubisky, this will be a win. The Bengals are now in “win out in order to make the playoffs” mode and the Bears are in “let’s try to scrap another win or two before next season” mode. I think we all know which team is more likely to grab the W.
    The Pick: Bengals 28, Bears 14

    Minnesota Vikings (10-2) @ Carolina Panthers (8-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    This is an intriguing game. The common trend for the Panthers is if Cam Newton shows up, the team shows up and is very likely to win. When Cam has an off game, it’s hard for the rest of the team to make up for that. Against Minnesota, MVP-level Cam isn’t really MVP-level Cam. Case Keenum will have another game like last week – efficient, winning football.
    The Pick: Vikings 27, Panthers 21

    Washington Redskins (5-7) @ Los Angeles Chargers (6-6) (Sunday, 4:05 PM ET)

    Washington got served a huge slice of humble pie last Thursday against Dallas. Los Angeles is in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West and by game time, the team should know who they have to keep pace with. Philip Rivers and Melvin Gordon should be enough to hold off the contract-chaser Kirk Cousins.
    The Pick: Chargers 28, Redskins 20

    New York Jets (5-7) @ Denver Broncos (3-9) (Sunday, 4:05 PM ET)

    Josh McCown is coming off AFC Offensive Player of the Week honors and his team sits at 5-7. Before the season, many people (myself included) expected this bunch to be 2-10, 1-11 or 0-12 at this point. Props to Todd Bowles for a job well done this season. With that said, things have not gone as expected in Denver, but for the worst. The Broncos have lost 8 games in a row and have no idea what they have at the quarterback position. Let’s make it nine in a row as the Jets will sit at a shocking 6-7 come Sunday night.
    The Pick: Jets 24, Broncos 17

    Tennessee Titans (8-4) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-7) (Sunday, 4:05 PM ET)

    Tennessee is a scary team to root for. One week they’re beating up on a bad team and the next, they’re getting beat up by a good team. Luckily for the Titans, Arizona is not a good team. The Carson Palmer and David Johnson-less Cards will not be able to keep up with Marcus Mariota, Derrick henry and DeMarco Murray. Simple and plain.
    The Pick: Titans 31, Cardinals 17

    Philadelphia Eagles (10-2) @ Los Angeles Rams (9-3) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)

    Game of the week right here. The Eagles are coming off a loss (something they’re not too used to doing this year) and the Rams are coming off a blowout victory. This one is by far the hardest game to pick. Common sense would result in picking Carson Wentz and company bouncing back and ripping apart the Rams’ defense. Naturally, I’m going with Jared Goff and the Rams pulling it off at home. The Rams will need their defense to play great football and if it does, LA will emerge victorious.
    The Pick: Rams 28, Eagles 24

    Seattle Seahawks (8-4) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (8-4) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)

    Jacksonville has a good defense and Blake Bortles is capable of avoiding mistakes and playing a solid game. Only one of those instances will occur on Sunday. Seattle showed last week that its defense is better than many expected without Kam Chancellor and Richard Sherman. Russell Wilson is a special player and in an effort to remain within a game’s reach of the Rams, he’ll win this one for his team.
    The Pick: Seahawks 30, Jaguars 20

    Baltimore Ravens (7-5) @ Pittsburgh Steelers (10-2) (Sunday, 8:30 PM ET)

    Pittsburgh struggled against Cincinnati but showed that no matter the circumstances, this team is going to find a way to win the game. Baltimore has played some fantastic football as of late (including Joe Flacco, last week at least) but won’t be able to put up points with this Steelers’ O.
    The Pick: Steelers 31, Ravens 21

    New England Patriots (10-2) @ Miami Dolphins (5-7) (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)

    Blowout of the week on Monday Night Football. Jay Cutler is no Tom Brady and Tom Brady is no Jay Cutler. Brady is coming off a game in which he didn’t throw a single touchdown and was picked off once. This week, he’ll make up for his lost touchdowns and won’t throw a single pick. Miami will be looking at its 8th loss of the season come Monday night.
    The Pick: Patriots 41, Dolphins 17
    That’s it for the Week 14 edition of NFL Picks.
    As the playoff race heads into the final stretch, here’s to your team picking up a win!
    Photo: John Grieshop/Getty Images

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  • Best Foote Forward: Jordan’s Week 14 NFL Power Rankings

    December 7, 2017 • AFC, Features, Front Page, Lists, NFCComments (0)

    Twelve games are in the books for each NFL team. If you haven’t been excited by the season thus far, you’re not a football fan.
    The amazing thing is that these matchups get more and more intense by the week. Last week featured some shocking games and some typical games for powerhouses.
    Ahead of Week 14, let’s see where your team stands in the Power Rankings!

    32. Cleveland Browns (LW: 32) 0

    One positive for the Browns is that Josh Gordon is back. 4 receptions for 85 yards is a great return for someone who’s been out of the league for so long. There only seems to be one winnable game left on the schedule for Cleveland – and it doesn’t come until Christmas Eve against the Bears.

    31. Denver Broncos (LW: 31) 0

    Every week we think Denver has hit rock bottom and every week we are wrong. Literally every quarterback on the roster has looked horrible and at this point, Denver is playing for draft position.

    30. New York Giants (LW: 30) 0

    I was temped to raise the Giants a spot simply because Ben McAdoo was fired. That’s a plus for a team that visibly did not care about him or his schemes. Also, kudos to the team for giving Eli Manning his starting job back. He gives the team a better chance at winning than anyone else on the roster, but that might be bittersweet come draft time as his replacement will need to be drafted soon.

    29. Chicago Bears (LW: 27) -2

    Da Bears. The team is returning to that point. Mitchell Trubisky’s passer rating hovered well above 100 on Sunday but when you only throw for 102 yards, it’s not hard to do so. Tossing a few passes a game isn’t going to put you at much risk of turning the ball over. Until he can put together multiple quality games in a row, this team will be bad.

    28, Indianapolis Colts (LW: 26) -2

    Indy is another one of these bottom-dwelling teams fighting for draft position. The offense continues to stall in opposing territory and the defense just allowed 30 points to Blake Bortles. Yeah, the Colts are that team this season.

    27. San Francisco 49ers (LW: 29) +2

    Jimmy G is a winner… for this week. 293 yards, no touchdowns and an interception was good enough to beat the Bears. It’ll take a bit more than that to beat the Texans this week but nonetheless, it was a promising first start in SF for the young signal caller

    26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 25) -1

    Tampa lost on a walk-off (or run-off, you could say) touchdown in overtime to Green Bay on Sunday. Something to that effect was expected. Jameis Winston played a good game, but did so in spite of the rest of his team. The Bucs are going to need another overhaul before they can contend in the stacked NFC.

    25. Miami Dolphins (LW: 27) +2

    Miami started their “if we win out, we can make the playoffs” run on Sunday with a big win over the Broncos. The tea leaves don’t read a W for Smokin’ Jay Cutler on Monday night against the Patriots. That’s that.

    24. Houston Texans (LW: 24) 0

    I didn’t drop Houston any spots this week! I might even be able to raise the team a spot or two if it can beat the 49ers on Sunday. Tom Savage is trying his best to keep the team afloat but something tells me 5 touchdowns to 6 interceptions isn’t quite the formula to do so.

    23. Arizona Cardinals (LW: 23) 0

    Arizona was still somehow clinging to very distant playoff hopes at 5-6 before Sunday, but those hopes are gone. 5-7 would have provided hope in the AFC, but the Cardinals are not going to sniff a playoff spot in the NFC. Carson Palmer might as well begin rehabbing for next season or retirement, not a late-season return.

    22. Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 17) -5 *BIG FALLER*

    Things are getting ugly in Kansas City. Good news: Alex Smith returned to MVP form on Sunday, including a 70-yard scamper in the middle of the game. Bad news: the defense collapsed (again) allowing 38 points to Josh McCown is one thing, but when Marcus Peters literally picks up a referee’s flag, throws it into the crowd and walks into the locker room, that’s another thing. Back-to-back home AFC West matchups will define the season for KC.

    21. New York Jets (LW: 22) +1

    J-E-T-S! Somewhat surprising win over the struggling Chiefs on Sunday, but the real story is how this team has exceeded expectations. Many predicted the Jets could be the lone winless team in the league this year and through 12 games, here they sit at 5-7. There is still a very slim chance Josh McCown can carry this squad into the playoffs. I’m talking an extremely slim chance, but it’s amazing that it’s even a possibility.

    20. Green Bay Packers (LW: 21) +1

    Green Bay won twice this week. The Packers won on the field against Tampa Bay, but also won when Aaron Rodgers revealed he intends to return for the team’s December 17 game against the Panthers, assuming Green Bay is still in playoff contention. If anyone were to run the table against the Panthers, Vikings and Lions, it’d be Aaron Rodgers.

    19. Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 19) 0

    Cincy wowed a lot of people, including myself, when it jumped out to a 17-0 lead against Pittsburgh on Monday. Many of us were also unsurprised when the Steelers promptly stormed back and won 23-20 on a field goal as time expired. Losses like this one are why the Bengals may not make the playoffs.

    18. Buffalo Bills (LW: 16) -2

    The Bills are a lot like the Bengals. One week they have the look of a playoff team and the next, they get dismantled by a superior opponent. It’s not fun to be a Bills fan. In a very crowded AFC playoff picture, though, there’s still plenty of time for Buffalo to figure things out.

    17. Washington Redskins (LW: 15) -2

    Washington effectively reduced its playoff hopes to nothing when it got blown out by the Cowboys on Thursday. 38-14 against Dallas without Ezekiel Elliot? You’ve got to be kidding me. The only question marks the rest of the way are whether Kirk Cousins is worth a huge contract and where the team will be drafting come April.

    16. Oakland Raiders (LW: 18) +2

    A few weeks ago, everyone was writing off Oakland and demanding better from the team. Now, the Raiders find themselves in a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West. Derek Carr is a magical QB and if he can pull some more magic out against the Chiefs on Sunday, you could be looking at the team that will represent the West in the playoffs.

    15. Dallas Cowboys (LW: 20) +5 *BIG RISER*

    Dallas kept its season alive on Thursday when it beat the Redskins by 24 points. A matchup with the Giants this Sunday favors the ‘Boys heavily. 7-6 looks a lot better than 5-6 and Dak Prescott has to start somewhere.

    14. Tennessee Titans (LW: 14) 0

    Marcus Mariota and the Tennessee Titans continue to worry me. This team plays so inconsistent that it’s impossible to pick them to win each week, but also impossible to pick them to lose. If I had to bet on a team to end a game in a tie, the Titans would be that team. The Arizona Cardinals aren’t a very good team, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them upset Tennessee this Sunday.

    13. Detroit Lions (LW: 11) -2

    Detroit isn’t going to make the playoffs this year. Before the season started, I made the Lions my trendy pick as a team that could shock the world, and they’ve done the opposite of that. Matthew Stafford is a great quarterback, but he’s not Aaron Rodgers. He can’t put a bandaid over every problem his team has and until help arrives, this is about a .500 team.

    12. Baltimore Ravens (LW: 13) +1

    Baltimore’s defense continues to play well and Joe Flacco ate a nice big W on Sunday after a 44-20 victory over the aforementioned Lions. This team is very scary if Flacco can return to his old self. The Ravens have been to the postseason before and are not scared of traveling into Foxborough to play the Patriots. If Baltimore can get in, look out.

    11. Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 12) +1

    San Diego… SUPER CHARGERS! Oops, Los Angeles. Regardless, LA is riding high and suddenly shares first place in the AFC West with the Raiders and Chiefs. The Bolts will host Washington on Sunday in an effort to keep pace with the winner of the KC-Oakland game.

    10. Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 9) -1

    Jacksonville’s good side showed up last Sunday. It’ll have to show up again this Sunday if the team wants to defeat the Seahawks. Blake Bortles will have to bring his A-game and the defense will have to play one inspired game of football. It’s possible.

    9. Atlanta Falcons (LW: 8) -1

    Atlanta got stifled by the Minnesota defense on Sunday, scoring just 9 points in four quarters of hard-nosed football. I’m still not sold on the Falcons being a Super Bowl contender but at 7-5, the playoffs are still completely within reach. We’ll see how good this team is at bouncing back when it hosts New Orleans on Thursday in what will be a great NFC South showdown.

    8. Carolina Panthers (LW: 7) -1

    MVP Cam Newton did not show up against the Saints, so the Panthers lost. That trend will continue as the season and postseason carry on. Carolina hosts the dominant Minnesota Vikings on Sunday in an effort to climb back into the conversation of being one of the top teams in the NFC.

    7. Seattle Seahawks (LW: 10) +3

    Seattle had a huge win over the Eagles on Sunday night. Holding Carson Wentz and company to 10 points should silence a lot of doubters when thinking about the LOB (or lack thereof). The ‘Hawks have another opportunity to make a statement against the Jaguars in Jacksonville this Sunday.

    6. Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 6) 0

    It took them more than a half to do so, but Pittsburgh finally woke up on Monday night and defeated the Bengals in epic fashion with a field goal as time expired. Ryan Shazier suffered a scary spinal injury but is recovering in the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for the time being. The next few days will be huge for him. Aside from that, it was an uplifting finish to the game for a team that is attempting to keep pace with the Patriots in the AFC.

    5. New Orleans Saints (LW: 5) 0

    The Saints handed the Panthers a 10-point loss on Sunday and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. New Orleans is currently sitting atop the NFC South, one game ahead of the Panthers and two ahead of the Falcons. The Saints traveling to Atlanta is going to make for one of the best games of the season this Thursday.

    4. Los Angeles Rams (LW: 4) 0

    The Rams are legit. I’m a firm believer in them and although they scare me at times, this team is well-coached and its youth is peaking at just the right time. Hosting the Eagles on Sunday, the Rams have a perfect chance to make a statement and defeat one of the best teams in the entire league.

    3. Minnesota Vikings (LW: 3) 0

    Breaking News: Minnesota’s defense is elite. If you actually thing that’s breaking news, you haven’t watched the Vikings play this season. On a day in which Case Keenum was the only source of points for Minnesota, the defense stepped up and held Matt Ryan and company to just 9 points. That’s insane. The Vikings will face another tough task when they go on the road to face the Panthers this Sunday.

    2. Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 1) -1

    Philly lost a game and sits second in the rankings as a result. If the Patriots wouldn’t have beat Buffalo by 20, I’d be inclined to keep the Eagles where they were last week. Don’t feel bad if you’re an Eagles fan; your team is still one of the best in the NFL. Suddenly though, the NFC seems a lot more wide open than it was before last week.

    1. New England Patriots (LW: 2) +1

    New England is playing some great football on the defensive side. I don’t care who you’re facing: if you can hold your opposition to 3 points, you’re playing good defense. Tom Brady threw for 0 (yes 0) touchdowns and 1 interception on Sunday and his team still managed to win 23-3. If that doesn’t show how talented this team is on both sides of the ball, I don’t know what does.
    That’s it for the Week 14 edition of TBFF’s NFL Power Rankings. With many marquee matchups on the docket this weekend, the list could look a lot different come Tuesday morning.
    Photo: Norm Hall/Getty Images

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  • Best Foote Forward: Jordan’s Week 13 NFL Picks

    December 3, 2017 • AFC, Features, Front Page, Lists, NFC, PredictionsComments (0)

    Week 13 is among us. This week’s slate kicked off on Thursday night when the Redskins traveled to Texas to face a bitter division rival in the Dallas Cowboys.
    Our Sunday night matchup features what could be one of the best games this season when Carson Wentz and the Eagles go on the road to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
    The week closes on Monday night when the AFC North-leading Pittsburgh Steelers head to Cincinnati to play the 5-6 Bengals. What about the games in between? Find the picks for the prime time and regular Sunday games below!

    Minnesota Vikings (9-2) @ Atlanta Falcons (7-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    I’m not buying Atlanta as a NFC powerhouse. I’m buying them as a playoff team, but nothing more. Minnesota is rolling on all cylinders right now and will not slow down this Sunday. It’ll be an entertaining game but defense will reign supreme in the end. A late Matt Ryan interception will seal the deal for the Vikings, who will win by 6 in Atlanta.
    The Pick: Vikings 30, Falcons 24

    Houston Texans (4-7) @ Tennessee Titans (7-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Houston is going to attempt to play teams close but at this point in the year, especially considering Tennessee still has playoff aspirations, it’s not going to help much. The Titans are going to use this game as revenge for the Texans’ 57-14 beatdown they handed Mariota and company earlier in the year.
    The Pick: Titans 27, Texans 13

    Kansas City Chiefs (6-5) @ New York Jets (4-7) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    This is it for the Chiefs. A loss this week will result in me completely losing faith in them. Enough is enough, it is time for the offense to get its act together. Surprisingly, the defense has been playing well as of late and should continue to do so against Josh McCown. Alex Smith is due for a big game and should have one against an average-ish Jets defense.
    The Pick: Chiefs 31, Jets 14

    Denver Broncos (3-8) @ Miami Dolphins (4-7) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Trevor Siemian is back under center for the Broncos. I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing, but let’s go with good. Maybe being benched lit a fire under him and he’ll play to his potential – average. At this point, anything resembling average will do for Denver. Jay Cutler isn’t going to be able to carve up his former defense; I think the Broncos will finally end the losing streak at seven games.
    The Pick: Broncos 24, Dolphins 19

    Indianapolis Colts (3-8) @ Jacksonville Jaguars (7-4) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Jacksonville is beginning to worry me a bit, but not enough to pick them to lose this week. The Colts remind me a lot of the Jets – a bad team that plays you tough each and every week. This week will be nothing different, but the Jaguars’ defense is much better than that of the Colts. Oh yeah, the Colts also don’t have anything resembling Leonard Fournette.
    The Pick: Jaguars 23, Colts 17

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-7) @ Green Bay Packers (5-6) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    I’m going out on a BIG limb here by saying the Buccaneers aren’t a good team. If you couldn’t tell, that was complete and utter sarcasm. Brett Hundley won’t throw for three touchdowns this week, but I think two will be enough to get the job done. Green Bay cannot afford to lose any more games if it wants to keep its playoff hopes alive, starting with this week.
    The Pick: Packers 24, Buccaneers 23

    Detroit Lions (6-5) @ Baltimore Ravens (6-5) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    This is a big matchup. Joe Flacco continues to play bad football (9 TD, 11 INT) while Matthew Stafford is attempting to do his best Aaron Rodgers impression (21 TD, 6 INT) by keeping his bad supporting cast in the playoffs. The Lions are a better team for the Ravens and although the defense has been huge for Baltimore as of late, it’s not going to be able to stop Stafford on Sunday.
    The Pick: Lions 34, Ravens 21

    New England Patriots (9-2) @ Buffalo Bills (6-5) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    New England is operating as a well-oiled machine right now. Buffalo had a nice win against the struggling Chiefs last Sunday but the luck ends here. Bills, meet 6-6. 6-6, meet the Buffalo Bills. Tom Brady, meet the road to the #1 overall seed in the AFC playoffs and another great game. This is going to get ugly.
    The Pick: Patriots 42, Bills 13

    San Francisco 49ers (1-10) @ Chicago Bears (3-8) (Sunday, 1:00 PM ET)

    Upset special: the 49ers are going to win this one! I’m thoroughly convinced that Jimmy Garoppolo is the answer for San Francisco – this week. The jury is still out on what he is long-term but on Sunday, he should have plenty of success against Chicago.
    The Pick: 49ers 27, Bears 14

    Cleveland Browns (0-11) @ Los Angeles Chargers (5-6) (Sunday, 4:05 PM ET)

    I really, really, really want to see Cleveland win a game. I really do. Sadly, it’s not going to happen this week. Philip Rivers has been playing too well and the combination of Joey Bosa + Melvin Ingram = disaster. Moving on.
    The Pick: Chargers 30, Browns 10

    New York Giants (2-9) @ Oakland Raiders (5-6) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)

    Oakland is one of two 5-6 AFC West teams looking to gain ground on the Chiefs. Oakland is one o tow 5-6 AFC West teams that will be 6-6 at the end of Sunday. It’ll be closer than it should be but in the end, the same result. Geno Smith is back! Kind of. Not really.
    The Pick: Raiders 24, Giants 20

    Carolina Panthers (8-3) @ New Orleans Saints (8-3) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)

    This one is going to be an amazing game. Many times this year I’ve made my picks based on whether I see MVP Cam Newton returning. I think this is going to be one of those occasions where he’s back. Drew Brees has been very good this year, but not the completely dominant force he used to be. Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram are not going to have a typical day against this Carolina defense. Cam Newton will have a good day and the Panthers will be in sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
    The Pick: Panthers 34, Saints 24

    Los Angeles Rams (8-3) @ Arizona Cardinals (5-6) (Sunday, 4:25 PM ET)

    Los Angeles is a great team. The Rams cannot afford to lose games like this one to subpar opponents. Arizona’s upset of the Jaguars last week was nice, but facing Jared Goff is a lot more difficult than facing Blake Bortles. The Rams will have a good game on both sides of the ball and will handily take care of the Cardinals.
    The Pick: Rams 31, Cardinals 17

    Philadelphia Eagles (10-1) @ Seattle Seahawks (7-4) (Sunday, 8:30 PM ET)

    Along with Carolina vs. New Orleans, this one is a strong candidate for game of the week. Philadelphia looks like a team that can’t be stopped. If Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were healthy and Russell Wilson had a decent offensive line to protect him, I’d pick the Seahawks to pull off the upset. Because none of these things will be in place, I’m going with Philly. Carson Wentz won’t have a typical Carson Wentz day, but it’ll still be enough to escape hostile territory with yet another win.
    The Pick: Eagles 24, Seahawks 20

    Pittsburgh Steelers (9-2) @ Cincinnati Bengals (5-6) (Monday, 8:30 PM ET)

    Cincinnati desperately needs a win this week to stay firmly in the middle of the AFC playoff picture but unfortunately for Marvin Lewis and his crew, it’s not looking too good. The Steelers had an off game last week against the Packers and still managed to pull out a win. Cincinnati isn’t a good team and Pittsburgh is. At this point in the year, these types of games are easy to predict.
    The Pick: Steelers 34, Bengals 21
    That’s all I’ve got for this week’s edition of NFL Picks. It’s bound to be another amazing week of football as the playoff race is heating up. Let’s hope we keep the momentum going after a 12-4 record for picks in Week 12.
    Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

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  • Philadelphia Setting Sights on First-round Bye & Home-field Advantage

    November 30, 2017 • Features, Front Page, NFC, NFC East, Philadelphia EaglesComments (0)

    With Sunday afternoon’s 31-3 victory over Chicago, the Philadelphia Eagles became the first team to hit the 10-win mark this season, beating New England (9-2), Pittsburgh (9-2) and Minnesota (9-2) to the punch.

    In 11 games this season, the league’s highest-scoring offense has put up 351 points (31.9/game) and second-year quarterback Carson Wentz has thrown a league-leading 28 touchdowns, according to pro-football-reference.

    With just five games left to play this season, true Super Bowl contenders are starting to take shape across the National Football League. And the Eagles may very well be at the top of the list.

    At 10-1 and five games ahead in the NFC East, Philadelphia is all but a lock to make the playoffs. A Dallas loss to Washington Thursday night would clinch the division for the Eagles.

    Philadelphia has a legitimate shot at making the Super Bowl for the first time since 2004. The Eagles are currently one of 13 NFL teams without a Super Bowl championship to their name.

    You can visually see here the teams looking to win their first Super Bowl, and three of them have a real shot this season.

    With Seattle, Los Angeles (Rams), New York (Giants), Oakland and Dallas remaining on the regular season schedule, Philadelphia is gunning for a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

    With at least three more wins this season, Philadelphia seems likely to achieve this feat and become the most dangerous team coming out of the NFC heading into the postseason.

    Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

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  • Best Foote Forward: Week 13 NFL Power Rankings

    November 28, 2017 • Features, Front Page, ListsComments (0)

    Another week, another set of exciting games in the NFL.

    The NFC continued to flex its muscles last week while the AFC became a lot more crowded in the middle of the pack.

    There are still five games left in the season for each team to improve and push for a postseason berth. I think you all can guess which teams possess the top and bottom spots in the rankings, but what about in between?

    Find out in TBFF’s Week 13 NFL Power Rankings!

    32: Cleveland Browns (LW: 32) 0

    This is becoming very, very sad. A few weeks back, I was saying the Browns had a chance to possible grab two wins by the end of the season. Looking at their schedule now, their best chance to win is going to be a game in Chicago on Christmas Eve. We might be looking at an 0-16 team, ladies and gentlemen.

    31: Denver Broncos (LW: 30) -1

    Denver can’t win a game. Aqib Talib is getting pretty good at snatching chains, though. Nonetheless, Denver allowed Oakland to get back into the playoff picture and effectively ended its own season on Sunday. Nothing more to say about this team. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out where the team will be drafting in April.

    30: New York Giants (LW: 29) -1

    The winning was fun while it lasted. Washington was desperate for a win on Thanksgiving as a loss would have likely ended its season. The Giants have nothing to play for besides draft position at this point. Here’s a question: Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold?

    29: San Francisco 49ers (LW: 31) +2

    Jimmy Garoppolo finally got a couple reps on Sunday due to an injury to CJ Beathard. The good news is: Garoppolo threw a touchdown! The bad news is: the team is still undecided on who to start this week. At this point, I think it’s time to let Jimmy G do his thing. You’ve got to see what you’ve got at QB heading into the offseason, right?

    28: Miami Dolphins (LW: 27) -1

    Things are getting ugly for the Dolphins. A few weeks ago, the team was squarely in the playoff picture and things weren’t looking that bad. As of this week, the ‘Fins will likely have to win out in order to make the postseason. With games against the Patriots, Chiefs and Bills (twice) left on the schedule – it isn’t happening.

    27: Chicago Bears (LW: 25) -2

    Mitchell Trubisky took a huge step back on Sunday against the Panthers. How about a 38.3 passer rating? No touchdowns and two interceptions sound good? How about a whopping 51.5% completion rate? All of these are huge red flags but I suppose facing the outstanding Eagles’ defense is a decent excuse.

    26: Indianapolis Colts (LW: 28) +2

    Indy rises two spots despite losing because the team continues to play tough. With games against the Jaguars, Bills and Ravens still left on the schedule, this team has a chance to shake up the AFC playoff picture in a big way. Jacoby Brissett doesn’t look like a franchise QB anymore, but he’s still not playing to lose.

    25: Tampa Bay Buccaneers (LW: 24) -1

    Tampa lost last week and is now coming back down to earth. 4-7 is not what many expected at this point in the year, but it’s fitting considering what all has happened this year. Jameis Winston is allegedly going to be cleared this week and if he returns, can he eat a W against the Packers?

    24: Houston Texans (LW: 23) -1

    Houston continues a slow slide down the rankings. The Texans played Baltimore tough, but couldn’t win to gain any ground in the playoff picture. It’s over for this squad.

    23: Arizona Cardinals (LW: 26) +3

    How about those Cardinals? If this team were in the AFC, it could possibly be the 8th seed. With the 7-4 Falcons currently occupying the 6th seed in the NFC, it would take a miracle for the current 12th-seeded Cardinals to fly up the ranks and secure a playoff spot. It’s nice to get closer to .500 with a win against a potentially playoff-bound opponent, though.

    22: New York Jets (LW: 21) -1

    The Jets have joined the Dolphins in the club of “we have to win out in order to have a shot at making the playoffs.” Just like the ‘Fins, it’s not going to happen for the Jets. Too little time left in the season and too many teams fighting for spots.

    21: Green Bay Packers (LW: 22) +1

    Green Bay played a very good game against the Steelers on Sunday night. Brett Hundley had his best game of the season and now has to face the Buccaneers and Browns the next two weeks. If he can win both of those and leave Aaron Rodgers a 7-6 team to work with, the playoffs are still a distant possibility. Rodgers would have to beat Carolina, Minnesota and Detroit AND have a lot of luck in terms of tiebreakers.

    20: Dallas Cowboys (LW: 13) -7 *BIG FALLER*

    Dallas is nothing without Tyron Smith and Ezekiel Elliot. It’s evident. Dak Prescott is playing horrible football right now and there is no one else to pick up his slack. On an off day, Zeke could have carried the team to a win. Alfred Morris is not Zeke.

    19: Cincinnati Bengals (LW: 20) +1

    Cincinnati picked up an easy win against the Browns on Sunday and is now 5-6 on the season. In the AFC, that puts the team right in the middle of the playoff hunt. With matchups against the Steelers, Bears, Vikings, Lions and Ravens still to go, the Bengals can only afford to lost one of them to make the postseason.

    18: Oakland Raiders (LW: 19) +1

    Oakland is in the same boat as Cincinnati in terms of record. A team that many began to write off is now right in the middle of the hunt for an AFC West title thanks to the Chiefs forgetting how to win. If Oakland wins its next two games (Giants, Chiefs) and the Chargers lose one, you’d be looking at a first-place team in that division in Oakland.

    17: Kansas City Chiefs (LW: 11) -6 *BIG FALLER*

    What happened? Alex Smith was an MVP candidate a month ago, now he’s playing like Tom Savage? The defense that was among the worst in the NFL has now played two good games in a row but the offense has went way south. Things need to shape up quickly for the Chiefs, who have both Oakland and Los Angeles breathing down their neck in the AFC West.

    16: Buffalo Bills (LW: 18) +2

    Big win for Buffalo on Sunday. Not only does it come against an AFC playoff contender, but it helped the squad keep pace with the Ravens for the 6th seed in the AFC. Buffalo likely needs to go 3-2 down the stretch in order to make the playoffs and with games against the Colts and Dolphins (twice) left, it’s entirely possible.

    15: Washington Redskins (LW: 15) 0

    The ‘Skins saved their season on Thanksgiving against the Giants. In the NFC, 10 wins is what it’s going to take to get a playoff spot. That means Washington has to beat the Cowboys, Chargers, Cardinals, Broncos and Giants to finish 10-6. I can see it happening, but I don’t think it will.

    14: Tennessee Titans (LW: 14) 0

    It wasn’t pretty, but the Titans picked up a W against the division-rival Colts. A matchup with the Jaguars in the final week of the season is going to be big for this bunch. It could decide who wins the division. Until then, Tennessee has the Texans, Cardinals, 49ers and Rams on the schedule. 3-1 in that stretch is entirely possible.

    13: Baltimore Ravens (LW: 16) +3

    Baltimore’s defense continues to do enough to mask the horrible offense. Joe Flacco is trying to single-handedly keep this team from reaching the postseason. Nonetheless, the Ravens currently hold the 6th seed in the AFC and have a big game against the Lions coming this week.

    12: Los Angeles Chargers (LW: 17) +5 *BIG RISER*

    Los Angeles is for real. I was thoroughly convinced after the 0-4 start that this team was more like a 10-win bunch and I’m looking more and more right by the week. The Bolts have division games against the Chiefs and Raiders left later in the season that could decide who wins the wild, wild AFC West.

    11: Detroit Lions (LW: 9) -2

    Detroit continues to puzzle me. Every week, Matthew Stafford tries to get his running backs involved and every week, they’re not having it. It really Stafford vs. whoever the Lions are playing that week. This week, it’s the Ravens. 4-1 will have to be the record down the stretch for this team in order to qualify for a tie for the 6th seed in the NFC.

    10: Seattle Seahawks (LW: 12) +2

    Seattle helped itself a lot by winning a game it needed to win on Sunday. A loss to the lowly 49ers would have made me think a lot about the direction of this team heading into the last five weeks of the regular season. The Seahawks have some tough games left on the schedule these next three weeks (Eagles, Jaguars, Rams) then close the season against the Cowboys and Cardinals. Steal one of the tough games and win both easy ones and you’re sitting at 10-6. That’s the magic record.

    9: Jacksonville Jaguars (LW: 8) -1

    Jacksonville lost a game it should have won on Sunday. Arizona isn’t realistically going to make the playoffs and shouldn’t have kept it close in this one. Games like that are what worries me about this team. Can Blake Bortles win game for this team, or at least not lose them?

    8: Atlanta Falcons (LW: 10) +2

    Atlanta has silenced all the haters after getting to 7-4. This team is still in play for a division title as it plays the Saints twice and Panthers once the rest of the way. It’s going to be one wild finish to the year in the NFC.

    7: Carolina Panthers (LW: 7) 0

    You can tell a conference is stacked if the 5th-seed is 8-3 on the year. What a great division. Carolina has back-to-back matchups against the Saints and Vikings on the docket. I think Cam Newton steals one from Drew Brees this week and bumps his team from the 5th seed to the 3rd seed.

    6: Pittsburgh Steelers (LW: 5) -1

    Sunday night’s game against Green Bay didn’t worry me in terms of the regular season, but I’m severely worried about this defense against Tom Brady. If Brett Hundley can carve up the D for 3 touchdowns, imagine what Brady can do. I’m hoping this was just an off game for the Steelers and not the beginning of a trend. We’ll see. Regardless, Pittsburgh is still the second-best team in the AFC.

    5: New Orleans Saints (LW: 3) -2

    Tough loss to New Orleans. Eight wins in a row is still something to be proud of. A bit of adversity is creeping in for this squad and even more will follow if it loses to the Panthers on Sunday. Time to bounce back.

    4: Los Angeles Rams (LW: 6) +2

    The Rams rebounded from adversity by winning on Sunday. Jared Goff continued his amazing year on Sunday when he threw for 354 yards and a pair of touchdowns. This team has a tough test in a couple weeks when the Eagles come to town; it’s time to prepare for it (assuming the team beats Arizona this week, which is a dangerous assumption to make).

    3: Minnesota Vikings (LW: 4) +1

    Minnesota just finds ways to shut down the opposition. This defense is the best in the NFL and Case Keenum looks more and more like a stud QB each week. The only thing stopping the Vikings is themselves – and maybe the Eagles come playoff time.

    2: New England Patriots (LW: 2) 0

    Another week at the office for the Pats. Everyone should have known they’d be rounding into shape right about now and everyone should have waited to hit the panic button. The only truly challenging game left for this team is a matchup in Pittsburgh on December 17th.

    1: Philadelphia Eagles (LW: 1) 0

    Who else did you expect? Philly has no reason to be anywhere but the first spot in these rankings until they lose. The team may be tested with games against the Seahawks and Rams back-to-back but other than that, Philly has the first seed in the NFC locked up.

    That is it for the Week 13 Power Rankings. I hope you all enjoyed reading and you’re excited for another great week of football. Here’s to your team rising a spot or two in next week’s rankings!

    Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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  • Manning Benched: Is Eli’s Giants Career Finished?

    November 28, 2017 • Breaking News, Front Page, New York Giants, NFC EastComments (0)

    After a porous start to the 2017 season, it appears we may be nearing the end of Eli Manning’s career.

    The 36-year old signal caller has just been benched in favor of backup Geno Smith for New York’s Week 12 match-up against Oakland. It will put an end to his current 210-game start streak.

    Having just lost his 100th career game (110-100 record as a starter), the 14-year pro is likely mulling over his future in the NFL as the Giants sit at 2-9 on the year. At the very least, it doesn’t appear as though Manning will be a New York Giant next year. Whether he’ll be playing somewhere else, or will just hang them up for good is the real question here.

    The two-time Super Bowl champion has led the G-Men to seven winning seasons over his 14 years in New York.

    Eli’s numbers this season: 11 starts (2-9), 2,411 passing yards, 14 TD, 7 INT, 84.1 QB rating.

    His numbers aren’t bad, especially given he’s been without weapons such as Odell Beckham Jr., Brandon Marshall, Dwayne Harris and Sterling Shepard has missed some games this season as well.

    The offensive line in front of him has struggled. Paul Perkins, who was supposed to be the Giants’ No. 1 back this season, ran for just 61 yards on 32 carries in seven games.

    The team offense ranks 31st in the league, in front of only the winless Cleveland Browns. As a team, New York’s rushing attack has 1,004 yards and three touchdowns.

    It’s atrocious play from Eli’s injury-riddled supporting cast that has led to his benching.

    This is the product of a head coach (Ben McAdoo) who clearly doesn’t know what he’s doing. It’s surprising that Eli has lost his job before McAdoo, to be honest.

    I truly hope Eli hasn’t started his final game with the Giants, although it’s certainly looking like has has.

    Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

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  • Tom Savage Holds Shortest Post-Game Press Conference of All-Time?

    November 28, 2017 • AFC, AFC South, Features, Front Page, Houston TexansComments (0)

    After tossing for 252 yards and a pair of interceptions in Houston’s 23-16 Monday Night Football loss to Baltimore last night, Texans quarterback Tom Savage walked out of his post-game press conference after about … oh, I don’t know, 10 seconds.

    Shortest press conference of all-time?

    It’s understandable that he’s frustrated after losing four of the last five games and dropping to 4-7 on the season, but I believe it could have been handled a little bit more professionally.

    Then again, it’s Tom Savage. The Texans won’t be making any noise as long as Savage is under center.

    For Houston fans, you’re better off going into hibernation until Deshaun Watson recovers from his ACL tear.

    Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

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  • Steelers Introduce Inaugural “Hall of Honor” Class

    November 28, 2017 • AFC, AFC North, Front Page, History, Pittsburgh SteelersComments (0)

    Most NFL teams, at this point, have some sort of “Hall of Honor” or “Ring of Fame” to honor former players.

    As the team with the most Super Bowls in league history, you’d think the Pittsburgh Steelers would have already had one. Especially given how often the team honors its former Super Bowl champion teams.

    But nope, Sunday night the franchise debuted its inaugural Hall of Honor class, which includes 27 players/coaches/contributors.

    Jerome Bettis, Mel Blount, Terry Bradshaw, Jack Butler, Dermontti Dawson, Bill Dudley, Joe Greene, Kevin Greene, L.C. Greenwood, Jack Ham, Franco Harris, Dick Hoak, John Henry Johnson, Walt Kiesling, Jack Lambert, Bobby Layne, John McNally, Chuck Noll, Arthur J. Rooney Sr., Daniel M. Rooney, Andy Russell, Donnie Shell, John Stallworth, Ernie Stautner, Lynn Swann, Mike Webster, Rod Woodson.

    That’s a lot of greats under one roof.

    Photo: Steelers.com

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