Noontime’s Preseason NFL Top 20 Poll

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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: Monday, August 3, 2020

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By Matt Noonan 

Welcome to Monday, everyone!

And welcome to the first Monday in August – yay, we made it!

Let’s kick-start the week with a brand new Daily Noontime – as usual, please continue to stay safe and well, and remember to smile, too.


Noontime’s Headlines for Monday, August 3, 2020 

  • Our beloved Boston Red Sox have not played great these past few days.

    Against the New York Yankees, both this weekend and last night, the Red Sox struggled – sure, they almost scored an important win last night, but could not contain Aaron Judge.

  • As of today, the Boston Red Sox have won three of ten matchups, which is not good. They currently reside in the basement in the American League East and will visit the Tampa Bay Rays for two games this week on Tuesday (August 4) and Wednesday (August 5) before returning home to host the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Let’s switch gears to hockey where the Philadelphia Flyers rolled past the Boston Bruins in the first game of the round-robin yesterday.

    Boston, which entered the round-robin as the top seed, did not look good, but the Flyers – whoa, they looked VERY good.

    Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, and David Pastrnak did not play well against the Flyers, but will certainly be needed when Boston faces-off against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday.

  • Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown powered the Boston Celtics to a much-needed win yesterday over the Portland Trailblazers in the Orlando Bubble – hopefully, this particular victory will translate to even more success (🤞).
  • Finally, Devin McCourty of the New England Patriots is not happy with the NFL‘s decision to extend the opt-out deadline to Wednesday, August 5.

Finally – yes, we know this a plug for our podcast! – but make sure to subscribe (and listen) to our Noontime Sports Podcast, which can be found on a slew of platforms these days, including Apple Podcast and Spotify

Daily Noontime: Friday, July 31, 2020

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By Matt Noonan 

Happy Friday, everyone!

Welcome to the final day of July – it has been a strange month, but the good news is tomorrow is August, and that means we are technically another day closer to some football, right?

Let’s end the month of July on a good note, so here is today’s Daily Noontime for Friday, July 31, 2020.

As usual, be well, stay safe, and have a great weekend, everyone!


Noontime’s Headlines for Friday, July 31, 2020 

  • The Boston Red Sox won their second-straight contest last night to bump their overall record to 3-4.

    Christian Vázquez powered the Sox to their third victory of the season last night against the New York Mets by finishing the Thursday evening affair with two runs, two hits, and three RBI.

  • Tonight, the Boston Red Sox will remain in the Empire State to take on the New York Yankees who currently lead the American League East with a 4-1 record.
  • Do you miss Mookie Betts? I know some Red Sox fans do, so here is a must-read from Michael Holley of NBC Sports Boston on why the eventual Hall of Famer left the area to compete for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) resumed its season last night. Here is what happened in case you did not tune in!
  • Let’s switch gears to college football where Greg Sankey, who is the commissioner of the Southeastern Conference (SEC), shares some thoughts on why his league will only play conference games this fall.
  • And finally – I am sure you know this – but Tom Brady will be joined in the backfield this fall by LeSean McCoy, who agreed to a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This offense should be fun to watch.

Daily Noontime: Monday, June 29, 2020

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By Matt Noonan 

It’s Monday – yay!

Yet, what just happened to the weekend? Can we get some more sleep?

Luckily, this won’t be a bad week because we will be celebrating the Fourth of July, beginning Friday, July 3.

Let’s kick-off the week with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – as always, make sure to smile, laugh, and be kind to others!


Noontime’s Headlines for Monday, June 29, 2020

  • News broke around 7 or 8 p.m. (eastern time) last night about the New England Patriots signing quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal.

    Newton joins a Patriots team that is transitioning from Tom Brady, who departed the area to quarterback the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    But will the signing of Newton help the Patriots save its ongoing dynasty, which began during the first decade of the new millennium? Let’s hope so!

  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Cam Newton signing is “a no-lose situation” for the Patriots, who currently have two quarterbacks on their roster, including Jarrett Stidham, who some believed would be the starting signal-caller this season.
  • So, with Cam Newton joining the Patriots, what does this mean for Jarrett Stidham? Will he be the starter or back-up to the veteran signal-caller? Only time will tell, right?
  • In addition to welcoming Cam Newton to Massachusetts on Sunday evening, the Patriots also made headlines for violating league rules last season for filming the Cincinnati Bengals‘ sidelines when they played the Cleveland Browns.

    As noted on ProFootballTalk.com, the Patriots have been fined $1.1 million dollars and have lost a third-round draft pick.

  • According to Colin Cowherd, who can be heard (and seen) on FS1, there are only four “top college football programs” in the good ole United States of America. Which ones are they?
  • And finally, Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler announced he will not be headed to Orlando, Florida once his team’s season resumes next month.

    Chandler cited “health concerns” for his decision to not join his team, which has won 30 games this season.

Remember to stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

Willwerth: How Tom Brady Can Help My Buccaneers Win A Super Bowl

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Can Tom Brady lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Super Bowl next February? (PHOTO COURTESY: NBC Sports Boston)

By Brian Willwerth

When Tom Brady announced he was leaving New England and heading to Tampa Bay, it got the attention of everyone around the NFL.  TB was going to TB. We heard variations of that pun all over the place.

So, does this make the Buccaneers an instant Super Bowl contender, to become the first team to ever host the big game in its home stadium?

No. At least, not yet.

What Brady has done is made the Bucs relevant. The national media is talking about Tampa Bay for the first time in forever. The schedule makers gave them a franchise-record five primetime games. And for what it’s worth, the Patriots have the same number of games under the lights even without Brady under center.

But remember: Tampa Bay hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007. And for that to change in 2020, three things need to happen:

  • A running game would help since they haven’t had one in several years.
  • The secondary needs to be much better, though it showed some improvement after getting rid of Vernon Hargreaves, who is currently a member of the Houston Texans (he was released by the team earlier this year, but resigned last month).
  • The offensive line needs to improve dramatically.

Tom Brady alone cannot lead the Bucs to the postseason, though many bandwagon fans feel differently. Everyone remembers all of Jameis Winston’s interceptions last year.  What the stats don’t show, is how often he was running for his life. Brady’s going to be doing a lot of scrambling if the pass protection remains poor.

The anticipation for this season – hopefully with fans in the stadium – is through the roof.  Let’s get it on.