Noontime’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Two (Sept. 15, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The first official week of the 2020 National Football League (NFL) season is in the books, which means it is time to unveil our second power rankings of the week, which continues to find the Kansas City Chiefs in the top spot followed by the Baltimore Ravens (second) and Seattle Seahawks (third). 

As usual, make sure to stop by every day for brand new football content while following us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube! 


Noontime’s Week Two Power Rankings (Sept. 15, 2020)

1. Kansas City Chiefs (1-0, LW: No. 1): The defending Super Bowl champions looked pretty impressive last week against the Houston Texans

2. Baltimore Ravens (1-0, LW: No. 3): Lamar Jackson and the Ravens rolled past the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, and should have no problem scoring its second win of the 2020 season this weekend when Baltimore visits Houston for a 4:25 p.m. kickoff. 

3. Seattle Seahawks (1-0, LW: No. 9): Russell Wilson was unstoppable on Sunday against an Atlanta Falcons team that did not have an answer with hows to stop the Seahawks’ offense. 

4. New Orleans Saints (1-0, LW: No. 4): Drew Brees and the Saints looked A LOT better than Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

5. New England Patriots (1-0, LW: No. 11): In Bill Belichick we trust. And the same should be said for Cam Newton, too. 

6. San Francisco 49ers (0-1, LW: No. 2): The 49ers offense did not look great against the Arizona Cardinals, especially quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo

7. Buffalo Bills (1-0, LW: No. 8): Quarterback Josh Allen completed 33 of 46 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for a game-high 57 yards on 14 carries in the Bills’ initial win of the 2020 season against the New York ‘Football’ Jets

8. Tennessee Titans (1-0, LW: No. 6): The Titans are a good team. But they did not look great last night against the Denver Broncos, especially the special teams. 

9. Green Bay Packers (1-0, LW: No. 13): The Minnesota Vikings had no answer for Aaron Rodgers, who completed 32 of 44 passes for 364 yards and four touchdowns. 

10. Pittsburgh Steelers (1-0, LW: No. 10): Daniel Jones may have thrown more passes in last night’s contest, but Ben Roethlisberger looked much better as the veteran signal-caller completed 21 of 32 passes for 229 yards and three touchdowns. 

11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0-1, LW: No. 5): Bruce Arians is not afraid to speak his mind about quarterback Tom Brady. But what will Arians say if Brady and the Bucs don’t beat the Carolina Panthers on Sunday? 

12. Arizona Cardinals (1-0, LW: NR): Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins were fun to watch against the 49ers last weekend. 

13. Los Angles Rams (1-0, LW: No. 17): The Rams may have squeaked out an opening day win against Mike McCarthy and the Dallas Cowboys but they certainly proved they can march up and down the field. 

14. Dallas Cowboys (0-1, LW: No. 7): Mike McCarthy was NOT happy about a late-game pass interference call, which helped the Rams escape with a three-point win. The Boys are already banged up on both sides of the ball and face a must-win on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. 

15. Philadelphia Eagles (0-1, LW: No. 14): So, who had the Eagles losing to the Washington Football Team in week one? 

16. Houston Texans (0-1, LW: No. 16): The Texans looked OK, but not great last week against the Chiefs. But how will they look this week against the Ravens? 

17. Denver Broncos (0-1, LW: NR): The Broncos had a chance to beat the Titans last night, but Drew Lock and the offense only moved 18 yards on its final drive. 

18. Los Angeles Chargers (1-0, LW: NR): Somehow, the Chargers scored a dramatic opening day win against the Cincinnati Bengals. Will this trend continue this week, as well as going forward? 

19. Las Vegas Raiders (1-0, LW: No. 20): Somehow the Silver and Black won a wild road game against the Carolina Panthers.

20. Atlanta Falcons (0-1, LW: No. 18): The Falcons looked lost against the Seahawks last week, but should be able to attack the Cowboys’ weakness this week: the Dallas secondary. 

On the Rise: Chicago Bears and Washington Football Team 


Noontime’s Preseason Rankings (Aug. 4, 2020) 

Noontime’s Week One Power Rankings (Sept. 8, 2020)

Belichick On No Fans: It’s Like Scrimmaging The Titans

New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick compared his team’s win in front of no fans to a “practice” environment. (PHOTO COURTESY: Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

By Matt Noonan 

Bill Belichick never seemed fazed about playing football games this year without fans in the stands due to the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

So when asked shortly after his team’s season-opening win over the Miami Dolphins what today’s atmosphere was like at Gillette Stadium with no fans in attendance, the long-time New England Patriots sideline boss said it was like “practice.” 

Practice

Yep, that was exactly how Belichick answered the reporter’s question, who seemed curious about the game day atmosphere. 

Belichick would eventually expand on his answer, saying the following: “It’s like scrimmaging the (TennesseeTitans or scrimmaging Detroit (Lions) or scrimmaging the teams that we scrimmage. There’s – there are a few fans there, but basically there’s no fans there. It’s basically a competition and there’s some energy from your teammates and your own energy. So, that is what it is.” 

And without fans in the stands, the Patriots looked just fine, thanks to a solid showing by both the offensive and defensive units, which limited the Dolphins to just 11 points and 269 total yards.

The Patriots will play in front of no fans next weekend when they visit the Seattle Seahawks for an 8:20 p.m. kickoff. Seattle also scored a win in front of no fans this afternoon by cruising past the Atlanta Falcons in Georgia. 

Daily Noontime: Thursday, August 6, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to Thursday, everyone!

A brand new weekend is on the horizon, but before we begin making social distancing plans with families and friends, make sure to enjoy this gorgeous weather today here in Boston.

Let’s kickstart the day with a brand new Daily Noontime – as usual, stay safe, be well, and make sure to smile, everyone!


Noontime’s Headlines for Thursday, August 6, 2020 

  • Jaylen Brown poured in a team-high 21 points while Jayson Tatum netted 19 points in 18 minutes as the Boston Celtics rolled past the Brooklyn Nets last night by a score of 149-115.

  • As of this morning, the Boston Celtics have won two games in the NBA bubble and will play four more games, beginning tomorrow against the Toronto Raptors. Tipoff between Boston and Toronto on Friday, August 7 is scheduled for 9 p.m.

    Also, the Green and White are currently locked into the third position in the Eastern Conference and would play the Philadelphia 76ers in the opening round of the postseason if the playoffs were to begin today.

    Again, it just seems weird (and strange) to think the NBA is playing in August, but both the Celtics games and others have been fun to watch.

  • The Boston Bruins dropped their second qualifier contest yesterday to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-2.

    Following the loss, Boston’s Tuukka Rask said he does not “care where we finish” – he is referring to where the Bruins would place in the final regular-season standings before the postseason begins.

    At the moment, the Black and Gold will most likely be the third seed and play one more round-robin game on Sunday, August 9 against the Washington Capitals.

    For those looking for a silver lining or perhaps a glimmer of hope, the Bruins did look like themselves yesterday after yielding a pair of first period goals.

Alright, let’s do some quick-hitters!

Noontime’s Preseason NFL Top 20 Poll

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By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s time to start producing some football content for NoontimeSports.com – we love football.

And while we know this fall will be different – we will miss covering the small colleges here in New England – it is time to kick-off our National Football League (NFL) coverage with our first (of many) Noontime Top 20 Polls.

Like we have in the past, specifically with our New England D-III Football Poll, we will be producing a weekly Noontime Sports NFL Top 20 Poll, pending of course there is a season and games are played. But as we know, nothing is certain, especially during a pandemic, so hopefully this post (and poll) provides you with some hope for the 2020 season.


Noontime’s Preseason Top 20 NFL Poll (Tuesday, August 4, 2020)

1. Kansas City Chiefs: The defending Super Bowl champions will certainly have a target on their back once they begin their title defense on Thursday, September 10 against the Houston Texans.

2. Baltimore Ravens: Quarterback Lamar Jackson seems extremely motivated to lead his team on a deep postseason run. Will that happen this year?

3. San Francisco 49ers: The 49ers were the best team in the NFC last year and should once again be a team to watch (and beat) in what should be a rather competitive NFC West.

4. New Orleans Saints: The Saints want to erase the memories of last year’s early postseason exit to the Minnesota Vikings. Expect another big year from quarterback Drew Brees, along with some new acquisitions, including Malcolm Jenkins and D.J. Swearinger.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did you see today’s workout video on twitter between Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski? Brady looks in midseason form.  

6. Seattle Seahawks: Never count out Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, but will they be able to continue their previous momentum from years past without fans in the stands this year?

7. Tennessee Titans: As long as the Titans stay healthy, this team will be tough to stop. Also, can quarterback Ryan Tannehill continue his success from a year ago? And will this team once again run through halfback Derrick Henry?

8. New England Patriots: Yes, the Patriots have lost a great deal of depth and experience with eight players electing to opt-out for the upcoming season, but it is hard to count out coach Bill Belichick and newly acquired signal-caller Cam Newton.

9. Buffalo Bills: The Bills will certainly challenge the New England Patriots for the top spot in the AFC East, especially with some impressive new pieces on both sides of the ball, including Josh Norman and Stefon Diggs. Hopefully, quarterback Josh Allen has improved his accuracy (fingers crossed!).

10. Philadelphia Eagles: Carson Wentz played an entire season last fall for the Green and White, and should continue his progress – he is one of the best signal-callers in the game (in our opinion). In addition to Wentz taking another step forward, every member of the organization must stay healthy, too.

11. Green Bay Packers: So, what is the future hold for quarterback Aaron Rodgers? Who knows, but as long as he is under center, then we should not count out Go Pack Go.

12. Dallas Cowboys: A new sheriff is in town – his name is Mike McCarthy – and his resume includes a Super Bowl championship with the Green Bay Packers. We are excited to see the new schemes McCarthy implements, as well as some touchdown passes from Dak Prescott to CeeDee Lamb.

13. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger wants to do everything he can to lead the Steelers to victory, but does he have enough left in the tank?

14. Indianapolis Colts: Can Philip Rivers make the Colts a team to beat not just in the AFC South, but the entire conference? Also, similar to Ben Roethlisberger, how much is left in the tank?

15. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings were like the Dallas Cowboys last season, but made the playoffs. This team has the potential to win big games, but can they put it all together for an entire season, as well as 60 minutes?

16. Houston Texans: Every year, it seems like this team has the potential to do great things, but never does. For starters, the offensive line needs to do a better job protecting Deshaun Watson, while the defense needs to improve.

17. Cleveland Browns: A new era begins in Cleveland – how many times have you heard this saying before? – but will first-year coach Kevin Stefanski really get this team trending in the right direction?

18. Los Angeles Rams: It is hard to count out the Rams, especially with so much talent on both sides of the ball, but they took a step backward last season. The Blue and Yellow may be playing in a new stadium this fall – they will also be wearing some new uniforms, too – but they bid farewell to some key pieces on both sides of the ball, as well as defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.

19. Atlanta Falcons: After a bad start to its 2019 campaign, the Falcons regrouped and won six of eight contests, including an end of season win against the Buccaneers in overtime. Expect that end of season momentum to translate to future success in 2020.

20. Arizona Cardinals: Yes, the Cardinals of Arizona are on our list. And the reason: wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.


 On The Rise: Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Los Angeles Chargers, and Miami Dolphins

Daily Noontime: NFL Players Are Opting Out For The 2020 Season

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By NoontimeSports.com 

It’s Tuesday – how is everyone doing?

Yesterday was a crazy day – did you hear the news about members of the Miami Marlins testing positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19)?

Also, the New York Yankees‘ fourth game of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies was postponed, which is not good news for Major League Baseball (MLB).

Here is the latest from the baseball world from ESPN’s Jeff Passan and Jessica Mendoza (below!):

While it seems like baseball is in a world of hurt, various members of the National Football League (NFL) are beginning to opt-out for the upcoming season.

We learned this morning that Dont’a Hightower of the New England Patriots has decided to stay on the sidelines this fall. Hightower recently became a father and is the fifth member of the Patriots to opt-out for the upcoming season.

Here is the current list of Patriots players that won’t be playing this year:

  • Dont’a Hightower (linebacker)
  • Marcus Cannon (offensive tackle)
  • Danny Vitale (fullback)
  • Najee Toran (guard)
  • Brandon Bolden (running back/special teams)

Could we see more players from our hometown Patriots decide to not play this fall due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic?

Brandon Bolden also made headlines this morning, while other members of the league, including Maurice Canady of the Dallas Cowboys, won’t play this year.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell seems bullish on playing a “complete” season this year, despite recent upticks in coronavirus cases, but what exactly is does complete mean?

Switching gears (for a moment!), Los Angeles Chargers general manager Tom Telesco admitted that the league’s biggest opponent in 2020 is Covid-19.

And just because we like to share positive news – it is a great way to wrap-up a ‘Daily Noontime,’ right? – here is New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick (below) talking about his love for lacrosse, as well as football!