Noontime’s Preseason NFL Top 20 Poll

NSNFLPreseason2020

By NoontimeSports.com 

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.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Did you see today’s workout video on twitter between Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski? Brady looks in midseason form.  

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

Daily Noontime: Tuesday, February 11th, 2020

DNFeb11th2020

By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation 

Hello, Tuesday – how are you?

From a quick glance outside our window, you look a bit cloudy – do I see rain?

Well, let’s brighten everyone’s spirit with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ for Tuesday, February 11th, 2020.

Also, make sure to follow @NewsNoontime on Twitter so you won’t miss future ‘Daily Noontime’ posts!


The Boston Sports Scoreboard

  • The Northeastern University men’s ice hockey team captured their third-straight Beanpot Tournament crown last night as they defeated Boston University, 5-4, in double-overtime at the TD Garden. The three-peat is a first for Northeastern.
  • Tonight, the Northeastern women’s ice hockey team will attempt to win their Beanpot Tournament against Boston University.
  • The Boston Celtics return to the hardwood this evening – the Green and White are in Texas this evening to face the Houston Rockets with tip-off scheduled for 9:30 p.m.

The Noontime Headlines (and Links)

  • Marcellus Wiley does not believe Tom Brady is the right fit for the Los Angeles Chargers(NESN.com)
  • New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft hinted to a reporter at a 2020 Oscars party where he wants Tom Brady to play next fall. (NBC Sports Boston)
  • The Boston Red Sox, including Chaim Bloom, says they are not giving up on the upcoming 2020 season. (Boston Globe) 
  • Northeastern may have won the 2020 Beanpot last night, but coaches and players on the Boston University men’s hockey team were not happy about the outcome. (Boston Globe) 
  • Philip Rivers won’t be playing for the Chargers next fall, but he still wants to play. (ProFootballTalk.com)

VIDEO OF THE DAY: Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre – yes, he also quarterbacked the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets – says he does not see a decline in Tom Brady, who will turn 43-years-old this summer. 

Catching Up With Coast Guard Academy Quarterback Derek Victory

Coast Guard Academy quarterback Derek Victory accounted for seven touchdowns last Saturday in the Bears' 56-54 win over Curry College. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

Coast Guard Academy quarterback Derek Victory accounted for seven touchdowns last Saturday in the Bears’ 56-54 win over Curry College. (Photo Credit: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Derek Victory of Coast Guard Academy enjoyed a career day last Saturday, scoring seven touchdowns, including six through the air, while setting a school record for 525 passing yards. Victory’s six touchdowns through the air matched a school record.

In addition to his passing yards, Victory also rushed for 22 yards and one score to finish the contest with a school record 547 yards of total offense.

“Saturday was definitely a wild game,” Victory said a few days after his team’s exciting 56-54 win over Curry College.

Victory was tabbed this week’s Co-New England Football Conference (NEFC) Offensive Player of the Week with Curry quarterback Alex Corvese, who finished Saturday’s contest with seven touchdowns through the air.

Noontime Sports caught up with Victory to discuss his team’s dramatic, yet exciting win, as well as what we can expect from the Bears over the next few weeks.

Saturday’s contest against Curry College was quite a game. Tell me what it was like to be a part of it?

It reminded me a lot of my second start at the Academy against Western New England University (in 2013). We jumped out to an early lead and then they came roaring back and we had to just keep throwing the ball to stay in the lead.

Tell me about breaking a pair of school records with 525 passing yards and 547 yards of total offense – what does that mean to you?

It’s still kind of hard to believe. It means a lot, though. A record like that is a team effort. It involves all 11 guys performing in sync the entire game. The o-line played great, allowing zero sacks once again and the receivers made big plays over and over again.

In addition to breaking a pair of school records, you became the Academy’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (44) – care to share what that honor means to you?

It means that we’re putting points on the scoreboard as an offense. Growing up a Miami Dolphins fan and watching old Dan Marino highlights, I remember him saying that exact thing when he was asked about his touchdown records.

Five years from now, what will you remember most about your team’s game against Curry?

I’ll remember what happened after the game. My mom and dad gave me a huge hug and kept saying how proud they were. It was a special moment.

Tell me about winning back-to-back games – would it be fair to say your team is slowly catching its stride?

Offensively, we are firing on all cylinders. The Salve Regina loss was a huge disappointment to the guys so the fact that we’ve bounced back after that loss and two close losses before that speaks volumes about the guys we have on this team. We’re slowly getting healthier as a team, getting guys back from injury and learning the ins-and-outs of our offense. We definitely have caught our stride, but we all realize that we have a lot of areas that we can improve upon.

What is the goal for the team heading into this coming weekend’s game against Nichols? What does your team have to accomplish in order to secure a win?

Our goal is the same heading into every game: we want to go 1-0 every day. That means don’t look ahead or worry about the past. In order to secure a win Saturday (against Nichols), we just need to keep that intensity in practice going from last week.

What’s your all-time favorite Coast Guard Academy football memory?

My favorite memory was winning the Secretaries Cup at home back in 2014 (against Merchant Marine). No better feeling than hoisting that trophy at the end of a great game.

Do you have a favorite quarterback – either current or past – you look up to? If so, who is it and why do you idolize that particular signal-caller?

It’s hard to narrow it down to just one. Growing up in a Dolphins household obviously Marino is up there. Guys like Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers are two players I try to emulate because of Peyton’s football mind and the passion that Rivers plays with on a weekly basis.

Tell me about your major. What interested you in pursuing that particular major?

I am majoring in government, focusing on law and public policy.  I was always interested in politics (when I was younger) and how the government operated, so that is what drew me to the government major.

Three songs you are listening to currently?

‘A little more Summertime’ by Jason Aldean

‘Song for Another Time’ by Old Dominion

‘Southern Comfort Zone’ by Brad Paisley.

What is your all-time favorite movie?

My Cousin Vinny.

Favorite TV show?

Breaking Bad.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to visit Italy and Ireland, and see where my ancestors came from.

Finally, what’s the best advice you ever received from a coach or teammate?

The best advice I ever received from a coach was from my youth league coach, Bill Washington. His advice was simple, “stay calm.” That advice has helped me slow down the game and relax while dropping back to pass.

Willwerth: Thoughts and Reactions to Week 3 in the NFL

By Brian Willwerth 

Bills 34, Patriots 31 – Look who’s alone atop the AFC East. For the second week in a row, Buffalo [3-0] came back from a huge deficit, capping the comeback with a 28-yard field goal from Rian Lindell as time expired. Ryan Fitzpatrick led the Bills’ comeback, throwing for 369 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. New England quarterback Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, but was also picked off four times, one of which was returned for a score by Drayton Florence. This was Buffalo’s first win over New England since the ’03 season opener.

49ers 13, Bengals 8 – Running back Kendall Hunter scored the only touchdown of the game by either team late in the fourth quarter to give San Francisco (2-1) the win at Paul Brown Stadium. The attendance was 43,363 – the smallest crowd for a Cincinnati home opener in 30 years.

Browns 17, Dolphins 16 – In Cleveland, Colt McCoy engineered a game-winning, 80-yard drive. He threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 seconds left for the Browns [2-1]. Miami is still winless (0-3).

Titans 17, Broncos 14 – In Nashville, Matt Hasselbeck threw for 311 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner to Daniel Graham with less than five minutes to play for Tennessee [2-1].  For Denver [1-2], quarterback Kyle Orton also threw two touchdown passes, but was picked off twice.

Lions 26, Vikings 23 (OT) – Just as Buffalo is the story right now in the AFC, the same can be said of Detroit [3-0] in the NFC. The Lions rallied from a 20-0 deficit in the second half. Jason Hanson kicked the game-winning 32-yard field goal in overtime. Detroit is [3-0] for the first time in 31 years. Minnesota [0-3] blew a big lead at home for the second week in a row; the Vikes squandered a 17-0 advantage to Tampa Bay last Sunday.

Saints 40, Texans 33 – There are many candidates this weeks “Game of the Day,” but I’ll give this contest the nod. At the Superdome, Drew Brees and Matt Schaub combined to throw for 743 yards and six touchdowns. In the end, New Orleans [2-1] got the last laugh against Houston [2-1].  The teams combined for 37 points in the fourth quarter, and 927 yards of total offense for the game. If you love offensive fireworks, this was the game for you.

Giants 29, Eagles 16Eli Manning spoiled Philadelphia’s home opener. He threw four touchdown passes, including two to Victor Cruz. The Giants improve to [2-1], while the Eagles fall to [1-2]. Also, the team is somewhat concerned about Michael Vick’s health. He left in the fourth quarter with a broken right hand. Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid said Monday that Vick’s hand was just bruised, not broken.

Panthers 16, Jaguars 10 Cam Newton did not throw for 400 yards; he didn’t even come close. But he did find Greg Olsen for the game-winning touchdown with 4:20 left to give Carolina its first win. Newton finished with 158 yards passing. Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert made his first NFL start, throwing for 191 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

Raiders 34, Jets 24 –  A Rex Ryan-led defense gives up 234 yards rushing? Rex, meet Darren McFadden. He had 171 of those yards and two touchdowns as Oakland [2-1] won before at home. The Raiders handed the Jets their first loss of the season.

Ravens 37, Rams 7 – After losing to Tennessee last week, Baltimore [2-1] took out some serious frustration against St. Louis [0-3]. The Ravens had a 27-0 lead and over 400 yards of offense – in the first half. It was blowout city from that point on.

Chargers 20, Chiefs 17 – It wasn’t pretty for San Diego [2-1], but the Bolts did enough to keep Kansas City winless on the season. The Chargers got two short touchdown runs from Ryan Matthews to bail out quarterback Philip Rivers, who was picked off twice.

Packers 27, Bears 17 – The Super Bowl Champs are off to a [3-0] start. Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes as Green Bay beat its long-time rival at Soldier Field.

Seahawks 13, Cardinals 10 – In a defensive battle in Seattle, the Seahawks picked up their first win of the season. Tarvaris Jackson scored his team’s lone touchdown on an 11-yard run.

Buccaneers 16, Falcons 13 – In Tampa, the young Bucs’ [2-1] defense was the story, sacking Matt Ryan four times and forcing three turnovers.  Tampa Bay stopped a five-game losing streak to Atlanta. The Falcons [1-2] have already lost as many games this year as they did in the entire 2010 regular season.

Steelers 23, Colts 20 – If you thought this would be a cakewalk for Pittsburgh without Peyton Manning on the field, think again.  It took a Shaun Suisham field goal with 4 seconds left to give the Steelers the win.  Each team scored a defensive touchdown: Troy Polamalu for Pittsburgh, Jamaal Anderson for Indy (0-3.)

NFL 2011: AFC West Predictions

Expect yet another quality season from Rivers, as well as his San Diego "Super" Chargers!

By Matt Noonan 

Similar to the AFC South, this particular division is a true mess. Besides the Chargers and Raiders, both the Broncos and Chiefs are complete disasters. Who’s more likely to succeed, John Fox or Todd Haley? In the end, expect the Chargers to walk all over their three divisional brothers.

1.) San Diego Chargers [12-4] – Sports Illustrated’s Peter King admitted in his recent preview that he’s a fan of the Bolts. However, do they have what it takes to win? Hmm… well, they don’t have the greatest coach, but instead, a quality quarterback that’s tough as nails. Remember when Philip Rivers played against the New England Patriots with a torn ACL? He’s tough, really tough, so hopefully his gritty attitude and effort will finally help San Diego get over the hump.

2.) Oakland Raiders [8-8] – The Raiders aren’t exactly what they used to be, but clearly, they’re on the rebound. The Silver and Black are young, quick and athletic, but they also lack a true leader. They’ll certainly be competitive this season, as long as running back Darren McFadden stays healthy.

3.) Denver Broncos [6-10] – Head Coach John Fox enters his first season with a team that won four games last season. Hopefully, they’ll surpass that number this season and win five. Also, will Tim Tebowbe handed the starting job at some point this season? It’s possible!

4.) Kansas City Chiefs [5-11] – The Chiefs probably had one of the worst preseasons in the history of the NFL. They looked confused and dumbfounded, plus, quarterback Matt Cassel has resorted to his original ways. Don’t bet on the Chiefs this season, they’re taking a step back from last year.