Tag: Aaron Rodgers

Noontime’s NFL Divisional Round Predictions

By Matt Noonan

Happy Friday, everyone – yes, our blog has been a bit quieter than anticipated, but I can assure you more posts are on the way, including today’s National Football League’s (NFL) Divisional Round predictions.

Last week, I did alright with picks – yes, I know I missed on a few, including my beloved Dallas Cowboys losing to the San Francisco 49ers, and the Pittsburgh Steelers falling to the Kansas City Chiefs.

This week, I am determined to go four-for-four on picks, so let’s unveil some thoughts on all four matchups.

Enjoy the games and be on the lookout for more posts – I promise, you will see more stories on the blog soon!

Cincinnati Bengals at Tennessee Titans (Saturday, January 22 at 4:30 p.m.): I picked an upset last week – yes, I thought Ben Roethlisberger would be playing this weekend instead of sitting at home. But I will try again with an upset pick – hey, you need to try in life! – and say the Bengals will beat the Titans on their home turf. PREDICTION: Cincinnati 27, Tennessee 23

San Francisco 49ers at Green Bay Packers (Saturday, January 22 at 8:15 p.m.): This is what I call a classic matchup. Last week, the 49ers beat the Dallas Cowboys, which was also a “classic matchup.” San Francisco beat Green Bay when they last visited Lambeau Field during the 2013 playoffs, but I think this meeting will see the Packers prevail with a late touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers. Who will catch the go-ahead/game-winning touchdown? I am not sure, but I just think it would be hard to pick against Rodgers, who wanted to be drafted by the 49ers in 2005. PREDICTION: Green Bay 30, San Francisco 26

Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, January 23 at 3:05 p.m.): The Rams looked impressive on Monday – I mean, they looked good! But will their momentum travel with them to Florida? That is the question – well, my question, to be exact – but somehow, someway, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers will make one, two, or three more plays to edge the Rams in what might be the best game of the weekend. Get ready for another Brady-Rodgers matchup in the NFC Championship. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay 32, Los Angeles 27

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, January 23 at 6:30 p.m.): This has the making for a quarterback extravaganza. Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes looked amazing last weekend – they both threw for 300 yards (or more) in their respective Wild Card victories. But in the end, Mahomes will throw either one more touchdown or make an additional – perhaps, a crazy play? – to send secure the Chiefs a spot in the AFC Championship. PREDICTION: Kansas City 40, Buffalo Bills 36

Noontime Commentary: Learning More About The Ever-Changing QB Position

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback — he has also evolved with the position. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston.com | AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)

By Matt Noonan

When I was growing up, I always wanted to play quarterback (sadly, I never did).   

I loved watching Troy Aikman, Brett Favre, and Steve Young – all three played the position extremely well. But as much as I loved watching all three compete on Sunday, I fell in love more with the position from watching Tom Brady quarterback the New England Patriots.

Brady, as we all know, has become the greatest to play the position. Sure, some might argue that Joe Montana or someone else is better, but I believe Brady is the best because he continues to raise the bar and elevate the position on a yearly basis.

The former New England Patriots quarterback inspired all of us in this region, including the backyard signal-callers to those spotted under center on Friday evenings at various high school stadiums, to mimic his play, which is certainly not easy. And while Brady continues to impress, especially these days as a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he is what I, along with others in the football community consider one of the last remaining drop-back/pocket passers.

Sure, it might be hard to call Brady a drop-back passer knowing his footwork and agility have improved over the last few years. But saying he is the same type of signal-caller as Lamar Jackson, a cerebral quarterback that relies more on his legs than his arm, would be a hard comparison.

Jackson, along with Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes, are what some coaches might consider the “modern-day quarterback.” And the same could be said for Aaron Rodgers, who entered the National Football League (NFL) five years after Tom Brady and has shown similar improvements, especially in his ability to attempt acrobatic off-balanced throws from all angles. Ever see Rodgers’ “pop pass?”

Aaron Rodgers, along with Tom Brady and Patrick Mahomes, were just three names a few coaches mentioned when speaking with them about producing a piece on the “modern-day quarterback” — well, more what has changed about the position. We all know how amazing these three quarterbacks are, but one might not realize that their Sunday or Monday performances are just a sliver of what makes them great signal-callers.

As I learned from recent conversations, playing quarterback at any level does not mean you have to possess the strongest and accurate arm. Nope, there is much more to the position than just throwing the ball 30, 40, or 50 yards.

For starters, coaches believe their quarterback must possess a slew of skillset, including the following: leadership, accountability, knowing how to read multiple defensive schemes, making the necessary changes at the line of scrimmage, and watching a lot of film.

Of course, there are other intangibles and thoughts that were generated by coaches in both the college and high school world, but one thing many harped on is that their team must find the right individual to operate a popular offensive scheme: the spread offense.

What’s the spread offense?

It’s an offensive scheme that finds the quarterback in the shotgun formation with three, four, or five skill position players – think halfbacks, fullbacks, wide receivers, and tight end – spread out along the line of scrimmage. When defenses see this formation deployed, they must be ready to defend different zones/areas of the field, as well as be alert for a possible running play.

(Hopefully what I described above makes sense, but if not, I have included an introduction video to the spread offense below!)

To say the spread offense is a major reason the quarterback position has changed would be an understatement – the same could be said about how the game’s speed has changed, too.

Like anything in life, change can be perceived as both good and bad, but when it comes to the quarterback position, I believe this new wave makes the game fun and enjoyable. It is certainly a different position than the one I watched growing up in the 1990s, but now, I am ready to mimic Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, and Josh Allen in the backyard.

Anyone up for a game of pick-up football?

Daily Noontime: Monday, February 1, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome to the first day of February!

We’re expecting a nor’easter to arrive in our neighborhood shortly, so please make sure your car is parked on the correct side of the street as we certainly don’t want complaints of parking tickets flooding our email inbox tomorrow, Wednesday and Thursday.

Yet, before the snow, rain, and slush arrive, allow us to kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime for Monday, February 1, 2021.

As usual, be well, stay safe, hold the line, and smile – we’re almost there!


Monday’s Headlines & Links (February 1, 2021)

  • Let’s start the day with perhaps the biggest news blast (and update) in our email this morning: Theo Epstein, who guided both the Boston Red Sox and Chicago Cubs to World Series victories as en executive for both ball clubs, has joined Arctos Sports Partners, which is a firm that buys minority shares of pro clubs.

    Today’s announcement comes just one day after an SB Nation shared an interesting post (and read) from The Athletic, which asked the following question: who should be the next Major League Baseball (MLB) commissioner?

    As we all know, Rob Manfred is the current MLB Commissioner, but putting Theo Epstein in charge may not be a bad idea as the sport could certainly use his help with being just as innovative as the other professional leagues.
  • Welcome to Super Bowl week, which promises to be quite different due to the coronavirus pandemic. But as one sports writer – Jay Mariottiwonders (and writes), is reaching the championship game a win for the National Football League (NFL) or perhaps a sign that our country has turned a blind eye to this deadly virus?
  • College basketball conference championships are on the horizon, which seems crazy, right? But as one west coast reporter write, the Pac-12 is not planning to cancel its conference tournament next month.

    Similar to NCAA D-I college football, the college basketball season has not been pretty – we have seen a lot of starts and stops, along with some programs calling it quits, but don’t be surprised if you see some teams or conferences pull the plug on their respective postseason.
  • The Los Angeles Rams apparently have a new quarterback for the 2021 season as they sent Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for Matthew Stafford. But prior to acquiring Matthew Stafford late Saturday evening, the Rams tried to trade for Aaron Rodgers, but the Green Bay Packers said, “no way!”

Monday’s Podcast Alert 🚨

  • Today on the Noontime Sports Podcast, Matt Noonan welcomes Scottie Rodgers, who is the director of communications with the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas.

    Noonan and Rodgers discuss how the sports communication world has changed due to the pandemic, including how Zoom press conferences could be part of the “new normal.” Rodgers also discussed his role (and involvement) with the Racial and Social Justice Initiative Planning Committee and Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
  • You can listen to today’s interview, as well as past shows by visiting our Anchor page!

We’ll be back with more later today, but for now, be well, stay safe, and smile, everyone!

Daily Noontime: Wednesday, January 27, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone!

As usual, we hope everyone is doing well, staying safe, and having a wonderful week.

It’s rather chilly this morning in Boston – there is also some snow outside our window, so please don’t get mad if you see tweets or Instagram posts of us enjoying this winter wonderland later today.

In the meantime, let’s kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime – be well, stay safe, and remember … hold the line!


Wednesday’s Headlines (Jan. 27, 2021)

Daily Noontime: Monday, January 25, 2021

By NoontimeSports.com

The Daily Noontime is officially back – yay!

Yes, we’re back – we missed you, but we’re excited to kickstart your mornings (and sometimes early afternoons, too) with some news and links from the sports and tech world.

As usual, we hope this post finds everyone doing well, staying safe, and holding the line – we’re almost there, we promise!

Alright, let’s get after it with today’s Daily Noontime – have a great day, everyone!


Enjoy a brand new Noontime Sports Podcast featuring Seth Cantor and Kevin Tuve. Seth and Kevin, who work for the New York Boulders baseball team in the Frontier League, share some early thoughts on how both the team (and players, coaches, and front office staff) are preparing for a return to play later this spring and summer.

Listen to our Monday show on Apple Podcasts and Spotify – you can also find other outlets that carry our show on Anchor.


Monday’s Headlines (Jan. 25 2021)

In case you missed it (ICYMI): Did you miss our Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts column from Sunday, January 24? If so, hop here – you will want to read Matt Noonan‘s thoughts from the weekend!