I am excited to cap the work week with a brand new Football Friday Notebook – it is a piece of content I look forward to producing, so hopefully the stories (and news below) is something you enjoy reading.
Additionally, make sure to enjoy a brand new Football Friday Podcast, which you can listen to in this post, thanks to our friends from Spotify!
Alright, let’s share some news and links from the gridiron – as usual, be well, stay safe and have a wonderful weekend!
Football Friday Notebook: Friday, February 19, 2021
Carson Wentz will be playing for a new team next season, but according to various reports, including SB Nation, the former Philadelphia Eagles signal-caller had some serious fall out in the locker room. Additionally, he stopped talking with former head coach Doug Pederson “for weeks.”
Sticking with Carson Wentz – I mean, what else happened these past few days? – he was quite happy to be a member of the Indianapolis Colts, according to Kenny Moore II.
This will be an interesting offseason for every National Football League (NFL) team, which may have less money to spend, due to the potential salary cap. And this is certainly is not good news for my Dallas Cowboys and quarterback Dak Prescott.
Speaking of Dak, he donated meals to 1,000 homeless people that are “freezing” in Dallas, Texas, due to the bad weather that barreled through the state this week.
Alex Smith, who was named the 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year, told Kyle Brandt on the 10 Questions podcast that the country was apparently not ready for Colin Kapernick, who the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback claimed “was ahead of his time” when it came to social injustice.
Noontime’s Week Six Power Rankings (Oct. 14, 2020)
1. Seattle Seahawks (5-0, LW: No. 2): Somehow, the Seahawks pulled out a win on Sunday evening against the Minnesota Vikings.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (4-1, LW: No. 1): The Chiefs suffered their first setback since last November, which seems or sounds crazy, right? Maybe the loss was exactly what coach Andy Reid and his team needed.
3. Green Bay Packers (4-0, LW: No. 3): The Packers were idle this past weekend, but they have looked pretty good through four weeks. This week, Green Bay will visit Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what should be a decent matchup.
4. Baltimore Ravens (4-1, LW: No. 4): Baltimore’s defense shined against Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, but the offense seems to be inconsistent.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-0, LW: No. 6): The Steelers are really good at drafting receivers.
6. Tennessee Titans (4-0, LW: No. 7): The Titans returned to the gridiron last night for the first time in a few weeks and looked really good. And we mean, really good!
7. Buffalo Bills (4-1, LW: No. 5): Did the Bills come down to earth last night or are they still pretty good?
8. Cleveland Browns (4-1, LW: No. 14): Something is different about this Browns team than previous years. Maybe this is finally the year the Browns officially turn the corner and establish a winning culture?
9. New England Patriots (2-2, LW: No. 8): It’s been a chaotic past few days for the Patriots, but let’s hope things start going in the right direction, especially with today’s news about Cam Newton returning to the practice field tomorrow.
10. Los Angeles Rams (4-1, LW: No. 11): The Rams returned to their original form from earlier this season with a runaway win over the Washington Football Team this past weekend. Their early season success should continue against the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.
11. New Orleans Saints (3-2, LW: No. 10): The Los Angeles Chargers did not make things easy for Drew Brees and the Saints on Monday in Louisiana.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-2, LW: No. 9): Can someone please tell Tom Brady that there are four downs in football, not five!
13. Carolina Panthers (3-2, LW: No. 16): After starting the season with back-to-back losses, the Panthers have bounced back with three-straight wins. Is it time to consider them a contender for the NFC South?
14. Las Vegas Raiders (3-2, LW: No. 19): Whatever the Raiders did this past weekend against the Chiefs, they must do going forward.
15. Chicago Bears (4-1, LW: No. 15): Did you know the Bears have won four of five contests this season? Are they flying under the radar with Nick Foles?
16. San Francisco 49ers (2-3, LW: No. 13): Injuries are piling up and the 49ers are looking like a one-hit-wonder (in our minds!).
17. Dallas Cowboys (2-3, LW: No. 17): The Cowboys secured the top spot in the NFC East last week with a much-needed divisional win over the New York Giants, but did lose Dak Prescott to a season-ending injury. Ouch!
18. Indianapolis Colts (3-2, LW: No. 12): Maybe the three-game winning streak from the earlier this season was a fluke?
19. Arizona Cardinals (3-2, LW: No. 18): The Cardinals have beaten the following teams: San Francisco 49ers, New York Jets, and the Washington Football Team. And they have suffered setbacks to these teams: Detroit Lions and Carolina Panthers. So, how good is this team?
20. Miami Dolphins (2-3, LW: NR): The Dolphins came close to beating the Seahawks two weeks ago, but did score a much-needed win over the 49ers on Sunday. Is something cooking in South Beach that we don’t know about?
On the Rise: Los Angeles Chargers and Philadelphia Eagles
We hope EVERYONE is doing well while having a nice ending to a LONG weekend – crazy to think it is the 12 of October, but I guess we can say we’re now another day closer to the end of 2020.
Let’s get after it and set the tone for the week with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ beginning with LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers topping the Miami Heat, 106-93, to clinch the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals last night.
The Lakers were pegged the “way too early” favorite for the upcoming 2020-21 season, according to ESPN.com – not sure when that season will officially tip-off – while the Celtics were picked seventh on the list while the Los Angeles Clippers checked in second and the Milwaukee Bucks secured the third spot.
As you probably know by now, today’s game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos has been moved to next Sunday, October 18. Yesterday – Sunday, October 11, to be exact – was the Patriots bye week, as well as the Broncos.
Monday’s game between the Patriots and Broncos was canceled yesterday due to the Patriots having a fourth member of the team (or organization?) test positive.
As of this morning, none of the Patriots coronavirus tests came back positive, which is good news. Yet, what does that mean for Cam Newton and Stephon Gilmore remains an unknown? It is likely the duo that supposedly dined out in Boston earlier this month would be able to play next weekend against Denver, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Sticking with football, my other favorite team – that would be the Dallas Cowboys – scored a much-needed win yesterday over the New York Giants, but suffered a major setback in the third quarter as Dak Prescott suffered a serious ankle injury that will keep him sidelined until next season.
Andy Dalton will lead the Cowboys for the remainder of the season – let’s keep our fingers crossed for him, while wishing Dak a smooth and healthy recovery!
Other news and links from the world wide web:
The National Football League (NFL) maybe forced to add an additional week – “Week 18” – to its schedule due to the potential of more games being canceled or postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Tampa Bay Rays won the first game of the 2020 American League Championship Series (ALCS) against the Houston Astros last night. Are the Rays the new Major League Baseball (MLB) “Playoff Villian Slayer?”
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.
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
Where will Tom Brady play in 2020? PHOTO COURTESY: Charles Krupa / Associated Press/LA Times
By Matt Noonan
It may be only February – Friday, February 14th, 2020, to be exact – but the thought of where Tom Brady will play next season continues to be on the minds of many, including myself.
So, below are five potential landing spots for the six-time Super Bowl champion – I am sure all five of these teams, including the New England Patriots, would certainly benefit from having Brady both in their locker room and on the field guiding their respective offense.
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys begin a new era under head coach Mike McCarthy. And you know the former Green Bay Packers coach would love to have a veteran quarterback like Brady to guide his offense to not just a division crown, but also a Super Bowl championship.
Dallas may have their quarterback of the future in Dak Prescott, but it seems as if he and his agent want a lot of money for a signal-caller that has yet to guide the Silver and Blue to a conference title. Prescott is 1-2 in the postseason, and does not seem interested in attending minicamp and possibly training camp until he receives what he wants, so why not lure Brady to Texas so the Cowboys can win their sixth (and possibly seventh) Super Bowl in franchise history.
Las Vegas Raiders: Could you imagine Tom Brady donning a Silver and Black uniform? If so, I’ll buy it – I don’t wear jerseys anymore – but with Brady under center, he would immediately turn the Raiders into a team that would not only compete with the Kansas City Chiefs for an AFC West crown but also a conference championship.
The Raiders begin a new era in their franchise history this fall – sadly, they are not competing in Oakland or Los Angeles anymore, so adding Brady to their roster for one or two years would be an ideal way to start the next chapter of Raider Nation.
New England Patriots: Returning to the Patriots makes the most sense to me, but I am not entirely sure if Brady would want to play for New England, especially with how this past season concluded.
Sure, the Patriots weren’t “loaded” or the team to beat this past fall as they relied more on their defense than their offense, but if Brady were to return then I think coach Bill Belichick would need to lure some marquee free agents to Gillette Stadium so the veteran signal-caller can have a chance to end his career with at least one or two more Super Bowls.
Tennessee Titans: The Titans’ postseason run was exciting. But imagine what it will be like next year with Tom Brady under center?
If Brady joins the Titans then consider them the team to beat in the AFC besides the Kansas City Chiefs and the Baltimore Ravens.
Most likely, Ryan Tannehill will return to Tennessee, but I could see Brady’s former teammate and current head coach Mike Vrabel finding a way to lure the veteran signal-caller to Nashville.
San Francisco 49ers: This would be an ideal way to end a historic career.
Brady, as we all know, grew up rooting for the 49ers, so why not find a way to end your career with your favorite team. And I am sure both Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch would love to have Brady compete for a team that is certainly capable of returning to the Super Bowl next season.
For this move to happen, Brady could do one of two things. He could sign with the 49ers once free agency begins next month or ink his name on a new deal with the Patriots, but then ask either Bill Belichick or Robert Kraft to trade him to San Francisco. And if the Patriots did trade Brady, then you can bet that Belichick would ask for Jimmy Garoppolo in return.
I know this sounds like a crazy idea and I doubt the 49ers want to give up on Jimmy G, but if Brady were to sign with the 49ers then he will certainly have a chance to end his career with at least one, possibly two, Super Bowl rings.