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NFL Noise

December 29, 2016

Week 17, the final week of the NFL’s regular season, is finally here and there is not a whole lot of drama in regards to playoff berths.

Playoff drama, except for a few things, is basically over.

In the AFC, seeds two (Oakland) and five (Kansas City) could flip depending on outcomes this weekend. New England and the AFC West winner (Oakland or Kansas City) will get the first-round byes, with the Patriots clinching the top seed with a win or an Oakland loss next Sunday. Pittsburgh will be the third seed and Houston four. The second-place AFC West team is in line to be seeded fifth, while Miami makes its first playoff appearance in eight years. The Dolphins’ reward, likely, is a wild-card game in Pittsburgh. Miami could move into the fifth seed with a home win over the Patriots and a Chiefs loss.

In the NFC, Green Bay and Detroit will give us some drama. The winner on Sunday night will capture the NFC North. The loser could be the sixth seed if the Washington Redskins lose against visiting New York Giants. Dallas has locked up the top seed. A home win for Atlanta against New Orleans will make the Falcons the second seed. Seattle and the Packers-Lions winner round out the top four seeds. The Giants will be the five seed with either Washington or the Green Bay/Detroit loser being the sixth seed.

Quarterback play during the playoffs is vital to a team’s success. It this adage holds rue you have to like New England and Pittsburgh to advance to the AFC Finals. The Patriots have Tom Brady and the Steelers have Ben Roethlisberger. The other four signalcallers are Tom Savage (Houston), Matt McGloin or Connor Cook (Oakland),  Matt Moore or Ryan Tannehill (Miami) and Alex Smith (Kansas City). Not exactly the most talented group of playoff quarterbacks.

The Super Bowl and the playoff are really going to be different this year. For the first time since 2003, neither Super Bowl team from the previous year will be in the playoffs the following year. Carolina and Denver were 27-5 in the regular season in 2015; this year they’re a combined 14-16. Both franchises need to take a hard look at their quarterbacks. The Broncos have scored just 23 points in their last three games, all losses. The Panthers have the most inaccurate passer in the NFL in Cam Newton.

Week 16 brought heartache to the Oakland Raiders. Quarterback Derek Carr, a MVP candidate, got knocked out of the Raiders-Colts game Saturday with a broken right fibula. Carr directed Oakland to a stunning 12-3 start. Now the Raiders will go as far as backup Matt McGloin can take them.

Christmas came a day early in Cleveland. The Browns avoided the chance to go 0-16 with the 20-17 win over San Diego. They also moved closer to securing the top overall draft pick in 2017 by virtue of the 49ers breaking a 13-game losing streak with a win at Los Angeles.

Teams the opposition hope they do not run into during playoff action likely include Pittsburgh and Green Bay. The Steelers are the only team in the playoffs with a top-five quarterback, runningback, and wide receiver. Green Bay has won five straight by an average of 13 points a game.

Just a thought about the Cleveland Browns quarterback situation. The RGIII experiment failed miserably and no one else stepped up for the Browns so you can pretty much count on the franchise taking a quarterback with the number-one pick in the 2017 draft. A Tar Heel could come to the rescue as scouts are ranking Mitch Trubisky as one of the top few quarterbacks in the draft. And guess what? Trubisky played high school football at Mentor (Ohio) High, 24 miles east of the Browns’ field along the shore of Lake Erie. He’d clearly be a popular pick.

My NFL Coach of the Year is Jack Del Rio of the Oakland Raiders. He inherited a team that finished 4-12, 4-12, and 3-13 over the past three seasons (11-37). Oakland, at 12-3, has won more games this season than it did over the prior three campaigns.

My MVP is Tom Brady. I could care less that he missed four games due to Deflategate. At the tender age of 39, Brady has the third-highest rating of his career (110.7) and an astounding 25-to-2 touchdown-to-interception differential. The Patriots are 10-1 in games he’s started.

It may be time for the New Orleans Saints and head coach Sean Payton part ways. I know Payton has a Super Bowl title with the Saints but going 38-40 over the past five years while having one of the game’s top five quarterbacks in Drew Brees does not look good. Payton has been in New Orleans for 13 years now. The Saints may respond to a new leadership.















































NFL In December

College Playoff Controversy

What Would You Have Done?

Rivalry Week Is Here

Wild College Football Weekend

ACC Hoops Will Be Strong

Panthers Regain Winning Form

NFL & Domestic Violence

Slip Sliding Away

Another Woods Letdown

What A Game

No Shortage Of Ego

Bathrooms & Sports

NFL Hypocrisy

Carolina Panthers Preview

Why To Watch College Football This Fall

Baseball Races Heating Up

A-Rod's Non-Descript Farewell

Medalists And Taxes

Let's Follow The Money

NBA Hypocrisy

Two At Troon

Duncan Hanging Them Up

Durant's Decision

Charlotte Hornets And Free Agency

Professional Sports Coming To Vegas?

LeBron's Legacy

Will We Get A Classic?

Braves Could Be The Worst Team Of All Time

Panthers' College Free Agent Signing

Curry Repeats As MVP

NFL Draft And The Carolina Panthers II

NFL Draft And The Carolina Panthers

When Will The Money Run Out?

Saying Wow Was An Understatement

What A Game!

Syracuse And The Madness

Hornets Quietly Buzzing

NCAA Madness

Peyton’s Place In The Game Is Set

LeBron And The Cavs

UNC Asking What Just Happened

Clemson Tops List

Panthers Got Beat Up

Why I Like The Panthers

How This Super Bowl Team Was Built

Panthers Held On For Dear Life

NFL Playoffs Continue

NFL Wildcard Playoff Matchups

Panthers Did What?

Bowling For (fill in the blank)

Rose Still Outside Looking In

College Football Playoff Pairings

Be Careful What You Ask For

Cam Getting Some MVP Play

NFL Thoughts

Who Would Have Thunk It?

Relentless Royals

Another Week, Another Win

Panthers Gain Credibility

Pitfalls For USC

Panthers Got Defensive

Panthers Are Rolling

Panthers Win Again

Panthers Win Ugly

Can Panthers Three-Peat?

College Football Preview

Just What The NFL Needed

UNC Delaying Tactics

Some Refreshing News

Deflate-Gate Revisited

The Smoltz Story

Ty Lawson Needs A Wake Up Call

Florida State Police Blotter

World Cup Win For US Women

Hornets Select Kaminsky

Goodell/Brady Have Their Meeting

LeBron & The Cavs Fall Short

ESPN Taking Heat

NBA Finals

Edwards Back In Winners Circle

NFL To Change Football Rules

Deflate-Gate Hits Pats Hard

NFL Draft News

What’s Up With Deflate-Gate

What? Tebow Again

Get Used To Spieth

Duke Claims Title

The Familiar Four

NCAA Tournament Continues

March Madness

Tark The Shark

Duke Is Gearing Up For March Madness

I Don’t Get It

Yankee Hypocrisy

Honoring Dean Smith

Common Sense

Get Your Mind On The Game

NFL Championship Sunday

Panthers Eliminated

Panthers Move On

Panthers Playoff Bound

Sid’s 2014 Bowl Predictions

Kobe vs. Michael

Where Did That Come From?

Goodell Takes A Hit

Fragile Cavs

RG III Needs To Look In The Mirror

Heels AD Still Has Williams’ Back

Bumgarner Saves The Giants

Optimism Abounds With The Hornets

An Unlikely World Series

Winston Off Field Turmoil Continues

Panthers Rebound

October Baseball

Panthers Facing New Questions

Reality With Rice

Panthers Win, Panthers Win 

Carolina Panthers Preview

College Football Preview

When Will Manziel Show Some Poise?

A Tragic Racing Moment

NCAA Football Talk

Got Off Easy

ACC Football Preseason Poll Is Out

LeBron Changes Image

LeBron Still Undecided

Game Effort By USA

The Decision II

Spurs Claim Dynasty Tag

Sour Grapes

Heat Make NBA Finals Again

Cavs Win Lottery (Again)


Panthers And The Draft

Not So Sterling

NBA Playoff Action

Phelps Diving Back Into It


Final Four Fodder

NCAA Hoop Madness

March Madness, 2014 Style

One and Done

Heels Heating Up

Setting The Record Straight

Martin And Incognito

Bobcats Appear To Be Moving Forward (This Time)

A Super Letdown

Super Bowl Preview

Broncos and Seahawks Reach Super Bowl

Panthers Were Not Ready

Seminoles End SEC Streak

2013 In Review

Sid’s Bowl Picks

Mack Brown Resigns

BCS Gets It Right

Did You See The Classic?

ACC Hoop Preview

NFL Coaching Hot Seats

Panthers Are The Talk Of The NFL

Ravens Not Flying So High These Days

A Jeff Gordon Sighting

World Series Preview

Craziness Within College Football

Dissension In Tar Heel Land

SEC Football Rules

Nickname Controversy

Panthers And Rivera Lose Another Close One


NFL, 2013 Style

Panthers Are Cam’s Team

Heels Sticking With Hairston

NCAA Hypocrisy

Does NASCAR Need Young Talent?

Crash & Burn?

PHIL-thy Good

An All Star Night

Charlotte Signs Jefferson

NBA Free Agency And Charlotte

LeBron vs. Michael

Major Problem For Tiger

Police Blotter Hits Tar Heel Hoop Program

NBA Finals Are Set

Irish Eyes Are Not Smiling

NBA Final Four

Tiger May Be Having His Best Season Ever

NBA Playoff Action

No Draft Buzz With The Panthers

NBA Playoff Preview

Tiger Should Have Been DQed

Baseball Is Back

Final Four Fodder

Sweet 16 Madness

March Madness

He’s Back

Kelly’s A Hero

Who Said Girls Can’t Race?

Danica Is On The Pole

King James

Flacco & The Ravens Hang On



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