Tag: Lamar Jackson

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?

Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts (Jan. 17, 2021)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Sunday, everyone – I can use the word “happy” in front of what day it is, right?

Well, no matter what, I hope everyone is doing well while having a wonderful weekend. And of course, I do hope this post – well, more my weekly column, to be exact – finds everyone thinking optimistically because better days are ahead, I believe it.

Similar to last week’s Sunday Thoughts, I am going to share ten quick thoughts heading into what I hope will be a wonderful week for everyone.

So, without further ado, here is this week’s Noontime’s Sunday Thoughts!


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Thought No. 1: The Buffalo Bills and Green Bay Packers are the real deal. Yes, I know Ben Volin of the Boston Globe shared similar thoughts with his readers, but I think both teams could see each other early next week in Tampa, Florida to compete for the ultimate prize: the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Thought No. 2: Kudos to members of Bills Mafia, which performed a good deed last night after Lamar Jackson exited the game with what appeared to be a concussion. According to several outlets, following the conclusion of last night’s Buffalo-Baltimore Ravens game, members of Bills Mafia donated to Jackson’ favorite charity: Louisville’s chapter of Blessings in a Backpack. While its unknown how much money Buffalo fans donated, this is certainly an amazing story, as well as one of the many reasons why we ALL love sports, right?

Thought No. 3: I think the Cleveland Browns can beat the Kansas City Chiefs. Yep, I do. Cleveland has been a great story this season – they’re the underdog this afternoon – and it would be great to see Baker Mayfield and the Browns back in the conference title game for the first time since 1989.

Thought No. 4: Bold prediction: Tom Brady will throw three – maybe four? – touchdowns today and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will beat the New Orleans Saints in what will be Drew Brees‘ final contest in the National Football League (NFL).

Thought No. 5: Why does Cris Collinsworth always refer to a coach, player or someone within the NFL (or outside the league?) by starting his sentences with “here’s a guy?” Does anyone know?

Thought No. 6: Is it just me or was the 2020 college football season a disaster? I think this past fall was a horrible display of leadership, as well as a bad product. Sure, Alabama looked like world beaters compared to everyone else, but that was because of so many cancelations and postponements last summer and fall.

Thought No. 7: Cooper Manning, who is Peyton and Eli’s brother, called what appears to be his first high school basketball game last week. And he shared some unique thoughts on broadcasting – I think he also offered to give away a car, which seems like a strange thing to do at a high school game. But what do I know?

Thought No. 8: Sarah Fuller, who became the first female kicker to compete and score a point in a Power 5 college football game earlier this school year, will take part in Joe Biden‘s presidential inauguration this week. As noted in Pete Thamel‘s story on Yahoo! Sports, she considers this opportunity “an honor to be invited to participate in one of America’s great traditions.” Indeed, this is quite the honor for Fuller that I hope will continue to stay involved with football so she can continue to inspire more young women to pursue and accomplish their dreams, both on and off the field.

Thought No. 9: Call me crazy, but why are we playing high school sports during a pandemic? While the initial month of 2021 is far from over, it seems both this weekend (and the past few days) are an ideal time to crown high school football champions in both Michigan and Texas. Alright, good for them – yay, they finished their respective seasons – but maybe other states can do what Connecticut did and punt to next school year. Do the right thing and keep all the student-athletes safe and healthy.

Thought No. 10: I am a social media nerd and have really enjoyed following the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL), specifically their TikTok account. The content they have produced for TikTok is funny, which it should be. And I loved their recent video of waking up in the sunshine state: so peaceful.

Daily Noontime (Monday, Nov. 9, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Happy Monday, everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed the beautiful weather – it is very nice outside today!

And speaking of the great outdoors, the New England Patriots will be outside later today when they visit the New York Jets. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.

Fans of the Patriots – and yes, the Jets, too – can watch the game on ESPN.

New England enters tonight’s contest with just two wins – they have not won a game since late September when they beat the Las Vegas Raiders at home. Can they snap their four-game losing streak against the winless Jets? Hopefully, but if we have learned anything over these past few weeks, anything is possible these days in the National Football League (NFL).

The second half of the NFL’s 2020 season truly began yesterday with some interesting outcomes, including the Miami Dolphins outlasting the Arizona Cardinals, the Carolina Panthers putting a scare into the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Dallas Cowboys almost beating the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Did you watch last night’s match-up between Drew Brees and Tom Brady? If not, you missed an impressive showing by the New Orleans Saints, which beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by a score of 38-3.

And finally, Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills scored an impressive win at home, defeating the Seattle Seahawks, 44-34. Allen tallied four touchdowns, including three through the air, while the defense intercepted Russell Wilson twice.

Here are a few other news and links from another wild and crazy day of professional football:

Alright, that will do it for now, but stay tuned for more blogs and social media posts as the day progresses! And remember to smile, but also be good to everyone!

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, September 29, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone – how is your week going thus far? 

Luckily, it is only the second day of the workweek so make sure to turn that frown upside down by reading (and enjoying) a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ from your friends here at Noontime Sports! 

The Mahomes-Jackson Rivalry is not a rivalry 

The third meeting between Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson concluded once again with the Kansas City Chiefs defeating the Baltimore Ravens

Mahomes outplayed Jackson last night, especially in the first half, by finishing the Monday Night Football (MNF) clash with four touchdown passes while completing 31 of 42 passes for 385 yards. Additionally, the third-year signal-caller rushed for 26 yards on four carries and one score. 

As for Jackson, he finished 15 of 28 for 97 yards and one touchdown. He rushed for 83 yards on nine carries but was sacked four times. 

While the game was billed as the next great rivalry – well, something along those lines – we are not sure if Mahomes-Jackson is a rivalry. They both have great respect for one another but are also somewhat different style quarterbacks. Mahomes is more of a passer while Jackson is a dual-threat – he can run and throw. 

As of now, it appears both teams are destined to meet each other in the AFC Championship game next January, but we’ll have to wait and see because there is still A LOT of football left to be played. 

Tampa Bay wins “the bubble” Stanley Cup 

The 2019-20 National Hockey League (NHL) season officially concluded last night in a “bubble” – that is how we play sports these days, right? – with the Tampa Bay Lightning defeating the Dallas Stars in the sixth game of the Stanley Cup. 

Tampa Bay beat Dallas by a score of 2-0 to capture its second championship in franchise history. Victor Hedman earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as the most valuable player of the playoffs – he led all defenders in the “bubble postseason” with 10 goals

The Lightning – and yes, the Stars, too – will now enjoy some downtime ahead of what should be a quick turnaround for the league, which hopes to begin its 2020-21 season either later this year in December or next January. 

Gary Bettman, who is the league’s commissioner, would like to have fans in the stands for the upcoming season, but knows that may not be possible due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

We’ll keep our eyes on the NHL as discussions for the upcoming season should begin today or at least some point this week. 

Welcome to the 16-team MLB Playoffs! 

Are you ready for a 16-team Major League Baseball (MLB) postseason

We are excited about this new format and believe this could be a great way for the league to retain more fans during the postseason, as well as get excited about a sport that has lacked interest over the past few years, especially here in Boston where our beloved Red Sox have not been fun to watch, both this year and last year. 

The 2020 MLB postseason begins today with four contests – we’ll be keeping our eyes on a few, including the Cleveland Indians taking on the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox against the Oakland Athletics

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)