Noontime’s NFL Divisional Round Predictions

By Matt Noonan

It’s time for another BUSY weekend of professional football – are you ready for the National Football League‘s (NFL) Divisional Round?

I am, despite picking four of six games correct last week – I thought the Chicago Bears were going to upset the New Orleans Saints and the Seattle Seahawks were going to beat the Los Angeles Rams, but like I sad in 2020, what do I know?

Let’s see if I can go four-for-four with picks this weekend – fingers crossed, of course! – but in the meantime, I hope everyone continues to stay safe, happy, and healthy!

Have a great weekend and let’s get ready for some great football – let’s go!


Get ready for a BUSY weekend of football by listening to the Football Friday Podcast with Andrew Pezzelli and Zach Weiss on Apple Podcasts and Spotify!


Noontime’s Postseason Record: 4-2 | Wild Card Predictions

Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers (Saturday, Jan. 16 at 4:35 p.m.): The last time the Rams beat the Packers in the postseason they were representing St. Louis, not Los Angeles. And it happened to be in the second round of the 2001 postseason – January 2002, to be exact. Can they do it again? Maybe, but for the Rams to score an upset win over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, they must control the time of possession while receiving some help from their defense. Prediction: Green Bay 24, Los Angeles 14

Baltimore Ravens at Buffalo Bills (Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8:15 p.m.): This is a toss-up – both teams are capable of winning this matchup! – but the Ravens may have the edge, thanks to its rushing attack. But the same could be said for its defense, too, which limited Derrick Henry to just 40 yards on 18 carries (2.2 yards per carry) last week. Buffalo received some help last week from the Indianapolis Colts‘ coaching staff, which made some strange decisions in both halves. PREDICTION: Baltimore 28, Buffalo 17

Cleveland Browns at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, Jan. 17 at 3:05 p.m.): The Browns have not appeared in the Divisional Round since 1994 when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 29-9. Cleveland beat Pittsburgh last week in a bizarre and crazy first-round matchup, but I am not sure they’re capable of slowing down the defending Super Bowl champions. Kansas City will push ahead for good early in the third quarter and secure a home date for the AFC Championship. PREDICTION: Kansas City 30, Cleveland 21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (Sunday, Jan. 17 at 6:40 p.m.): Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are peaking at the right time. Sure, they didn’t manhandle the Washington Football Team last week, but they certainly looked pretty good. And while Tampa Bay may have lost both meetings with Drew Brees and the Saints earlier this season, I think the third time is the charm for Bruce Arians‘ team. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay 28, New Orleans 25

Noontime’s Tech Tuesday (Jan. 12, 2021)

By NoontimeSports.com

Welcome to our first official ‘Tech Tuesday’ post from Noontime Sports!

Our weekly post will highlight innovation, tech, business, events, and entrepreneurism in the sports (and yes, athletic) world, and we begin our new weekly series with an interesting story from Front Office Sports (FOS) about John Skipper and De Le Batard teaming-up for a “politically progressive sports media company.”

We learned of Dan Le Batard collaborating with his former ESPN boss on a new venture last week – Matt Noonan highlighted it in his ‘Sunday Thoughts‘ column – and according to FOS, the startup is targeting some former colleagues, including Jemele Hill, who currently writes for The Atlantic.

The Le Batard-Skipper venture is just the first

Here are some other news and notes (that you should know on this particular Tuesday):

Alright, that will do it for now – we’ll be back next Tuesday with more stories and links on the ever-changing sports world!

Daily Noontime (Monday, Oct. 19, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com

Happy Monday, everyone!

We hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and ready for a great week. And by way, it is quite chilly outside – have you stepped out the door this morning?

Enough about the chilly temps – luckily, we live in New England so we should know that it will be a bit warmer later today – so let’s instead switch the subject from weather to sports and kick off the week with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime.’

Listen to today’s Noontime Sports Podcast featuring Ryan Irwin and Patrick Maddigan from Team IMPACT on Apple Podcast and Spotify!

And let’s begin today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ with … Tom Brady looking like Tom Brady yesterday – well, maybe not the old Tom Brady from 2002-2007? – as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rolled past the Green Bay Packers by a score of 38-10.

With the win, the Buccaneers improve to 4-2 while the Packers saw their four-game winning streak snapped – ouch!

The Buccaneers did not record a single penalty during yesterday’s matchup – seriously, no flags were throw against Bruce Arians‘ team! – while Ronald Jones rushed for 100 yards (again!).

Next week, the Buccaneers will visit the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday Night Football – that should be a good game, right? – while the Packers will host the Houston Texans.

In addition to the Buccaneers winning on Sunday, the Tennessee Titans looked great against the Houston Texans, Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons snapped a five-game losing streak, and Philip Rivers and the Indianapolis Colts rallied to beat the Cincinnati Bengals.

Also, we saw a really good-looking Pittsburgh Steelers team trounce the Cleveland Browns while our hometown New England Patriots looked awful against the Denver Broncos.

Tonight – well, later today and yes, this evening – we’ll have some more football to watch with the Kansas City Chiefs visiting the Buffalo Bills while the Dallas Cowboys will entertain the Arizona Cardinals.

Let’s switch to baseball where the 2020 World Series is set to begin tomorrow evening between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Tampa Bay Rays.

Both the Dodgers and Rays needed seven games to clinch the pennant. And this is a series we – yes, we! – are interested in watching and following.

Here are some things you need to know about this particular series, courtesy of ESPN.com.

Alright, here are some more links and news from the world wide web:

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)

Tom Brady

Brady Struggles In His Tampa Bay Debut Against New Orleans

Tom Brady

Tom Brady wasn’t perfect in his debut with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. (PHOTO COURTESY: AP/NJ.com)

By Brian Willwerth 

This will not go down as one of Tom Brady’s finest moments.

In his first game with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brady started out like the Brady of old: marching his team down the field and scoring on a vintage quarterback sneak that he did so often in New England.

After that?  It was pretty much a train wreck.

Brady threw two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. But it was much more than that. There seemed to be a lot of miscommunication with his receivers. A number of his passes were way off the mark, which could be attributed to learning a new playbook and a lack of reps with his new teammates due to the pandemic.

But you can’t blame it all on Brady, who concluded his team’s initial contest of the season completing 23 of 36 passes for 239 yards, while adding nine yards on three carries. It doesn’t help when your offensive line can’t protect you. It doesn’t help when you have no running game to support the aerial attack. Both of those components have plagued the Bucs for years – not weeks or months, but years.

Brady and head coach Bruce Arians still have time to figure this out. This was just one game, against a very good New Orleans Saints team. And I think the chemistry between Brady and his receivers will improve. 

As any New England Patriots fan should know by now: don’t count him out just yet.