Tag: Los Angeles Chargers

Noontime’s NFL Wild Card Predictions

By Matt Noonan

Ah, the National Football League’s (NFL) second season has arrived – are you ready for playoff football

I am and hope you are, as well!

With the Wild Card round set to begin tomorrow — that would be Saturday, January 15, 2022, with a pair of games, — it is time to share some thoughts on all six matchups, as well as make some picks.  

As usual, let us know what you think (of what I predicted below) with a comment or connect with us on social media.

Enjoy the games and make sure to circle back for more football (and maybe, some non-football content?) throughout the weekend. 


Las Vegas Raiders at Cincinnati Bengals (Saturday, Jan. 15 at 4:30 p.m.): Earlier this year, I thought the Silver and Black were going to be one of the toughest teams to beat, especially in the postseason. And despite winning four straight contests, including an-end-of season win against the Los Angeles Chargers, I don’t think their momentum will travel with them to Ohio where quarterback Joe Burrow and the Bengals will be able to score the franchise’s first postseason win since January 6, 1991, against the Houston Oilers. PREDICTION: Cincinnati 30, Las Vegas 20 

New England Patriots at Buffalo Bills (Saturday, January 15 at 8:15 p.m.): Quarterback Mac Jones exceeded expectations — he played much better than I thought he would as a first-time professional starter. Yet, the former University of Alabama signal-caller has hit the “rookie wall,” which makes me think that these Patriots will have a tough time keeping up with Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. PREDICTION: Buffalo 25, New England 13 

Philadelphia Eagles at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Sunday, January 16 at 1 p.m.): Somewhere, Doug Pederson is smiling as his former team somehow secured a playoff spot with an unknown first-year coach named Nick Sirianni. As a Dallas Cowboys fan, I have been impressed with what Sirianni and his staff have been able to accomplish this season — hey, they’re a pretty good running team! But unfortunately, I don’t think this particular Eagles squad will be able to keep pace with Tom Brady and the Buccaneers on Sunday. Had this matchup pitted the 2017 Eagles against the 2021 Buccaneers, then I would have picked Philadelphia. PREDICTION: Tampa Bay 28, Philadelphia 17 

San Francisco at Dallas Cowboys (Sunday, January 16 at 4:30 p.m.): The last time these two teams met, the 49ers beat the Cowboys in the 1994 NFC Championship Game en route to winning Super Bowl XXIX. Could a win on Sunday provide the winning team with the necessary momentum to capture the title next month? It’s possible, but in the end, the team that makes fewer mistakes will win this particular matchup. And as a Cowboys fan, I believe this particular Dallas squad will be ready to make one — maybe two or three more plays than San Francisco to win Sunday’s meeting. PREDICTION: Dallas 28, San Francisco 27 

Pittsburgh Steelers at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, January 16 at 8:15 p.m.): Earlier this week, I picked the Chiefs because they will be at home. But these are not the same Chiefs from 2018, 2019, and 2020. I think they’re vulnerable. Additionally, I think the Steelers defense will pose problems for Patrick Mahomes. So, I am taking the road team in an exciting upset win — why not? PREDICTION: Pittsburgh 20, Kansas City 18 

Arizona Cardinals at Los Angeles Rams (Monday, January 17 at 8:15 p.m.): When the Cardinals defeated the Cowboys two weeks ago, it seemed as if their late-season slide was over. But last week, they fell to the Seattle Seahawks in their regular-season finale to secure a matchup with the Los Angeles Rams next Monday. Quarterback Kyler Murray has been inconsistent over the last few weeks. He looked like he was going to have an amazing season in September, but between his up-and-down play, along with some not-so-great plays by the offense and defense over the last few weeks, it would be hard to pick them to beat the Rams. PREDICTION: Los Angeles 30, Arizona 24 

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.

Noontime’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Six (Oct. 14, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Five weeks of professional football are in the books, but it wasn’t easy. 

Also, what did you think about Tuesday Night Football? Did you know the last Tuesday evening game was played ten years ago between the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles? Well, now you know! 

Alright, enough jibber-jabber, let’s unveil this week’s Noontime Power Rankings for the sixth week of the 2020 National Football League (NFL).

As usual, make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone!  


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


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

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

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

Noontime’s Week Four Power Rankings (Sept. 29, 2020) 

Daily Noontime (Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020)

By Matt Noonan 

Ah, it’s Wednesday – man, this week is flying by and I hope everyone is continuing to do well while staying safe and optimistic! 

We’re posting a bit later due to my flu shot this morning (and walking the dog!), but let’s get to the news beginning with some uncertainty surrounding the upcoming week of the National Football League (NFL)

Here is what we know (or is happening as of late this morning on the east coast): 

  • The upcoming Los Angeles Chargers and New Orleans Saints contest could be moved to Indianapolis, due to Hurricane Delta Path, which is scheduled to hit Louisiana on Friday. 
  • Two new members of the Tennessee Titans have tested positive, which means the facility is closed today and the team’s upcoming contest against the Buffalo Bills is in jeopardy. 
  • Stephon Gilmore became the third member of the New England Patriots to test positive for the coronavirus. So, what does that mean for the team’s fifth game of the season on Sunday against the Denver Broncos? Who knows! 

According to our go-to football site – that would be ProFootballTalk.com – NFL coaches are not happy with how the league is handling the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Maybe it is time to switch to a bubble

LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers are one win away from winning the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals – LA beat the Miami Heat last night by a score of 102-96.  

While we anxiously await for the fifth game to tip-off, we did learn this morning that LeBron James will now be the face of Wheaties, which many consider “the breakfast of champions.” Serena Williams was previously on the front of the cereal box. 

Switching gears to tech and sports business, Benita Fitzgerald Mosley has been named the Head of Community and Impact, as well as the first-ever FundPlay for LeagueApps, which is “a tech operating system for youth and local sports.” To learn more about LeagueApps, hop here

And finally, it appears as if the Barstool Sports’ SiriusXM channel may be no longer, according to both Awful Announcing and Dave Portnoy, who tweeted yesterday afternoon the following: “I’d say we’re 99.9% out of Sirius.” 

We’ll be back more another blog or two later, but as usual, make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone! 

Noontime’s NFL Power Rankings: Week Five (Oct. 6, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

It wasn’t easy, but somehow another week of the National Football League (NFL) checked the box on another week, despite two games being impact over the past few days by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

While it may not be business as usual in New York City these days, which is where the NFL calls home, they are somehow moving forward to the fifth week, which begins Thursday, October 8 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visiting the Chicago Bears. And before that game kicks-off, let’s unveil our latest Top 20 Noontime Sports Power Rankings for Week Five. 

As usual, make sure to stay connected with Noontime Sports on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube – have a great day, everyone! 


Noontime’s Week Five Power Rankings (Oct. 6, 2020)

1. Kansas City Cheifs (4-0, LW: No. 1): Sure, they moved Sunday’s game to Monday, but it certainly did not have an effect on Patrick Mahomes or Andy Reid

2. Seattle Seahawks (4-0, LW: No. 2): Russell Wilson and the Seahawks cooked up their fourth opponent on Sunday. 

3. Green Bay Packers (4-0, LW: No. 4): After four games, it is fair to say we underestimated Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Sorry, Green Bay! 

4. Baltimore Ravens (3-1, LW: No. 3): The Ravens scored a bounce-back win over the Washington Football Team this past weekend and will continue their winning ways this week against the Cincinnati Bengals

5. Buffalo Bills (4-0, LW: No. 6): As long as Josh Allen stays healthy, this team will be tough to stop. 

6. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0, LW: No. 5): The Steelers were idle this past week due to their game being postponed because of the coronavirus. But this week, they should be able to score their fourth win against the Philadelphia Eagles

7. Tennessee Titans (3-0, LW: No. 7): Nine players could be sidelined this week against the Bills due to the team’s recently Covid-19 outbreak. 

8. New England Patriots (2-2, LW: No. 8): The Patriots had a chance to win last night’s game against the Chiefs, but unfortunately struggled to contain Patrick Mahomes and the offense during the final minutes of the fourth quarter. New England’s defense is getting better and they should be able to bounce back this weekend against the Denver Broncos

9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-1, LW: No. 10): Tom Brady and the Buccaneers rallied to beat the Los Angeles Chargers for their third-straight win. Sure, it wasn’t the prettiest win, but something seems to be clicking between Brady and the Bucs offense. 

10. New Orleans Saints (2-2, LW: No. 12): The Saints snapped their two-game skid with a much-needed win over the Detroit Lions. Once they welcome back Michael Thomas, they will be a tough team to stop. 

11. Los Angeles Rams (3-1, LW: No. 9): The Rams barely beat the New York “Football” Giants this past week. They will need to play A LOT better this weekend against Washington. 

12. Indianapolis Colts (3-1, LW: No. 14): Did you know the Colts have won three games this season? Neither did we! 

13. San Francisco 49ers (2-2, LW: No. 11): The 49ers are banged up and desperately need their starters to come back quickly so they can keep pace with the Rams and Seahawks. 

14. Cleveland Browns (3-1, LW: No. 16): Kevin Stefanski is enjoying a successful start in his first year with the Browns. 

15. Chicago Bears (3-1, LW: No. 13): The Bears’ winning streak officially concluded this past weekend against Indianapolis. Can they return to the win column this week when they host Tampa Bay? 

16. Carolina Panthers (2-2, LW: On The Rise): The Panthers have won two-straight and should be able to win a third-straight contest this weekend against the winless Atlanta Falcons

17. Dallas Cowboys (1-3, LW: No. 15): The Cowboys could easily be 0-4, but somehow their special teams saved them two weeks ago against Atlanta. Mike McCarthy better figure things out quickly otherwise his time in Dallas may not last more than one year. 

18. Arizona Cardinals (2-2, LW: No. 17): The Cardinals looked like a real threat earlier this season, but have looked like the Cardinals of the past these past few weeks. They should be able to bounce back this week against the New York Jets

19. Las Vegas Raiders (2-2, LW: No. 18): The Raiders impressed us two weeks ago, but are now winless against the AFC East. 

20. Philadelphia Eagles (1-2-1, LW: NR): The Eagles finally cracked the win column on Sunday against San Francisco while securing the top spot in the NFC East. 

On the Rise: Los Angeles Chargers and Miami Dolphins 


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

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

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

Noontime’s Week Four Power Rankings (Sept. 29, 2020)