Tag: Kyle Shanahan

The Early Outlook for the NFL’s Wild Card Matchups

Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders secured a spot in the 2021 NFL Playoffs with an end-of-season victory over the Los Angeles Chargers. (PHOTO COURTESY: Getty Images | New York Post)

By Matt Noonan

The 2021 National Football League’s (NFL) regular season concluded last night.

Now, it is time for the playoffsare you ready?

The 2021 season came down to the final day, as well as its last matchup between the Las Vegas Raiders and Los Angeles Chargers.

In some way, this season mirrored the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) from the last two seasons (2019 and 2021) where every matchup and week was needed to determine not just divisional winners, but overall seeding for the 14-team playoff.  

Saturday cannot come soon enough – I am eager for yesterday’s excitement to continue. Does anyone know how to hit fast forward in the next few days?

Either way, I am excited – and I hope you are, as well – for some playoff football!

Over the next few days and weeks, Noontime Sports will be keeping its focus on football – consider this some “overtime” coverage from last summer and fall. We will have some op-eds and commentary pieces to previews, along with a piece about quarterback progression (I guess I can thank those armchair quarterbacks calling Boston radio stations!) over the next few days.

Let’s jumpstart the week with some early thoughts on all six Wild Card matchups — have a great day, everyone!

AFC Wild Card Matchups

Los Angeles Raiders (10-7) at Cincinnati Bengals (10-7): The Raiders concluded their 2021 campaign by winning four-straight contests, including back-to-back games against the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers. The Silver and Black have been quite the story this season – sure, there was some negative press over the first few weeks, but somehow, they managed to go on a late run to secure an opening round meeting with the Bengals. Don’t overlook the Raiders in this matchup.

New England Patriots (10-7) at Buffalo Bills (11-6): The Patriots ended their season with a disappointing setback to the Miami Dolphins – they also lost two other games before their divisional meeting with the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts. But something tells me this was the matchup coach Bill Belichick and his team wanted. They beat Buffalo last month by running the ball and attempting three passes. But a few weeks later, New England struggled to contain quarterback Josh Allen. The rubber match between the Bills and Patriots should be fun!  

Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7-1) at Kansas City Chiefs (12-5): The Chiefs may not be the explosive offense they once were – in fact, it seems as if their defense has played better, especially down the stretch. But here’s my question: will this unit be able to stop a Steelers squad that has averaged 17.75 points in their last four outings? My initial answer: yes, but I also wonder if the Pittsburgh defense is good enough to stop Patrick Mahomes?

NFC Wild Card Matchups

Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4): With a big win on Sunday over the Carolina Panthers, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers were able to move up to the second seed, thanks to some help from the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. Tampa Bay is not the same team as last year – they have some issues on both sides of the ball, which makes them vulnerable. Yet, the Buccaneers should be able to win this game, however, they must find a way to stop an impressive Eagles rushing attack led by quarterback Jalen Hurts. Hurts concluded the regular season with 784 rushing yards on 139 carries and 10 touchdowns while completing 265 of 432 passes for 3,144 yards and 16 touchdowns.

San Francisco 49ers (10-7) at Dallas Cowboys (12-5): This is a classic matchup – go ahead and break out those Steve Young and Troy Aikman jerseys. Neither signal-caller will be spotted under center next Sunday, but the 49ers’ offense will provide some challenges for a Cowboys defense that struggled initially at slowing down Philadelphia’s Gardner Minshew and Kenneth Gainwell this past weekend. But while the 49ers’ come-from-behind win yesterday against the Los Angeles Rams was impressive, the question I have heading into this contest is can this defense — San Franciscos’s, to be exact — slow down Dak Prescott and the Cowboys’ offense? This game presents some interesting storylines, as well as features two coaches that used to work together: Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco) and Dan Quinn (Dallas).  

Arizona Cardinals (11-6) at Los Angeles Rams (12-5): Arizona and Los Angeles both scored one win against each other, so like Buffalo-New England, this is a rubber match. To be honest, I did not anticipate this would be a first-round match-up – in fact, I thought Arizona or Los Angeles would be heading to Dallas this weekend. But instead, the Cardinals and Rams will square off once more this season – I am not confident in the Rams’ defense, which struggled to contain the San Francisco offense yesterday, especially in the final minutes. Additionally, will we see a great or subpar Kyler Murray against the Rams? Similar to Dallas-San Francisco, this game also presents some unique storylines.

Daily Noontime (Monday, Oct. 12, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Monday, everyone! 

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. 

Highlights from last night’s game are below, courtesy of the NBA YouTube channel! 

With the win, the Lakers have now captured 17 NBA Championships – our hometown Boston Celtics have also won 17 titles, too. LeBron James, who finished with a game-high 28 points, was named the Finals MVP. 

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?” 
  • Derek Carr and the Las Vegas Raiders handed the Kansas City Chiefs their first loss since last November yesterday
  • Things are not going well for Jimmy Garoppolo or Kyle Shanahan these days. 

We’ll be back for more later, but in the meantime make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone! 

Noontime Commentary: Five Potential Landing Spots For Tom Brady

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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.


Stay connected with Matt Noonan on Instagram and Twitter

Daily Noontime: Monday, February 3rd, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Well, that weekend went by fast, eh?

We hope you had a nice weekend, as well as enjoyed the Super Bowl, too – what an exciting finish by the Kansas City Chiefs!

Today should be somewhat mild for early February – per the latest reports, we could reach (or over around) 50 degrees in the Boston area, which makes us even more excited for warmer weather ahead.

In the meantime, have a great morning/day, get an extra cup of coffee later – you may need it! – and remember to smile and laugh!


The Boston Sports Scoreboard

  • Both the Boston Bruins and Boston Celtics were idle yesterday, but the Green and White will return to the hardwood this evening when they visit the Atlanta Hawks with tip-off scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
  • The Celtics enter the new week with some momentum – they have won three-straight, including a 116-95 win this past Saturday against the Philadelphia 76ers.
  • Tonight is the 68th Beanpot Tournament at the TD GardenNortheastern University, which won the championship last season, will skate against Harvard University at 5 p.m. while Boston College and Boston University will compete at 8 p.m.

The Noontime Headlines (and Links)

  • The Kansas City Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years last night, thanks to an exciting fourth-quarter comeback, which was led by quarterback Patrick Mahomes(FiveThirtyEight.com)

  • Kansas City’s Frank Clark ripped San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo after his team’s comeback win last night in the Super Bowl. (ProFootballTalk.com)
  • Kyle Shanahan believes the 49ers should be “fired up for next year” after losing on Sunday in the Super Bowl. (ProFootballTalk.com)
  • Justin Bieber and others had some funny reactions to Tom Brady‘s Hulu Super Bowl commercial. (NESN.com)
  • New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was booed in Miami during the Super Bowl pregame ceremony for flexing his championship rings. (Yahoo.com)
  • Sunday’s win over the 49ers was Andy Reid‘s 222nd on the sidelines, along with his first Super Bowl championship. (ESPN.com)

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Google’s Super Bowl commercial tugged at the hearts of many! 

Daily Noontime: Thursday, January 30th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

It’s Thursday, which means we are ONE more day closer to a brand new weekend – woo!

It is rather chilly outside this morning – where did this cold weather come from? – so make sure to bundle up when heading to the mailbox or local Starbucks.

Alright, enough rambling about the weather. Here is today’s Daily Noontime from your friends at Noontime Nation. Have a great day!


The Boston Sports Scoreboard

  • No local team was in action last night, but the Boston Celtics are back on Causeway Street this evening as they host the Golden State Warriors at 8 p.m.
  • Boston is still in fourth place in the Eastern Conference with a 31-15 record, while the Warriors of Golden State are in last place in the Western Conference.

The Noontime Headlines (and Links)

  • Penn National Gaming acquired a 36% interest in Barstool Sports yesterday, as confirmed by multiple reports. The Pennsylvania company plans to “increase its ownership stake in Barstool Sports to approximately 50% after three years and additional investment.” (WCVB.com)
  • As noted in the Business Insider, Penn National Gaming and Barstool Sports are planning to launch sportsbooks in its retail casinos in the coming months while launching a betting app in August. (BusinessInsider.com)

  • It seems like the Boston Red Sox will trade right fielder Mookie Betts before the 2020 season, which should benefit their rival the New York Yankees(NJ.com)
  • San Francisco 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters yesterday that all players, including those that have sustained injuries over the past few weeks, will be good to go for Sunday. (ProFootballTalk.com)
  • Where will Tom Brady play in 2020? Perhaps with the Chicago Bears or Tampa Bay Buccaneers? Maybe the Carolina Panthers? (Boston.com)

  • Jimmy Garoppolo has nothing, but kind words for Tom Brady – he even called his former teammate “a great dude.” (NESN.com)

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Reggie Wayne has some thoughts on Tom Brady playing for the Indianapolis Colts