MattyLovesPodcast Episode 49: “Fan Theory Fun”

Another episode of MattyLovesPodcast has returned!

This week, Cooper Davis Smith, E-I-C at EclipsePopCulture.com joins Matt de Simone as they discuss one of the funnest dinner conversations geeks can have: FAN THEORY.

Fan theories are basically theories fans of film and television (comics, novels, etc.) based mainly on assumption. Either the story didn’t end the way the fan wanted, or the story was lacking that “killer” punch to elevate it.

Matt and Coop discuss a few of the more popular fan theories regarding the Star Wars franchise (duh), James Cameron’s Titanic, the old Nickelodeon original: Rugrats, Indiana Jones, E.T., and much more.

Just sit back and listen to these two speculate their hearts away. If you’ve ever seen any of these films or television shows you won’t watch or think about them the same way again.

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The Wrestling With Football Podcast – WEEK 2: “The Matty Formation”

WEEK 2 is underway! What did Matt de Simone and Grant Sawyer take from the opening weekend’s slate of games?

The fellas announce the inaugural winner of the “Andy Dalton Commemorative Primetime Award,” which is given to the one player during the week that totally sucked in primetime.

Hey, there’s wrestling too! WWE Backlash went down last weekend. The guys express their thoughts on one of the more entertaining “pay-per-views” of the year.

What are some of the more intriguing match-ups on the Week 2 slate? Find all your answers here!

It’s the Wrestling With Football Podcast! The only place you will find an hour long discussion recapping the week in professional football and wrestling! Thanks for listening!

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The Wrestling With Football Podcast – Episode 2 (WEEK 1): “Spanning the Pro-Wres Globe”

Welcome back! To give you listeners a better idea of what The Wrestling With Football Podcast is all about, Matt de Simone and Grant Sawyer are back again this week to present the other half of the show’s functionality.

Pro-wrestling is on an upswing. It’s becoming relevant again in the pop-culture and sporting world. This relevance isn’t just associated with the WWE or TNA. Several Independent wrestling promotions are comprised of young upstarts that are beginning to pop up in the major wrestling companies we see on television weekly.

Grant is the Technical Director for CWF Mid-Atlantic Pro Wrestling–a company that has ran regular live shows twice a month for well over a decade. It’s hard to find another Independent promotion in the country that has that kind of longevity. Not only that, but this company has active story lines and canon! Matt and Grant shed a little light on the promotion that holds an endless grasp on their hearts.

The fellas also “span the globe” of pro-wrestling. They talk WWE, TNA, Lucha Underground, Chikara Pro, PWG, and more!

Not only that, but they also look forward to what may be on tap from now until the Spring as most companies wrap up major story lines and begin new ones to culminate around March or April.

Thanks for taking the time to check out this new endeavor at MattyLoves.com! Matt and Grant will be back next week to rundown the stories of NFL’s Week 2, as well as discuss the results of SmackDown Live!’s first exclusive PPV post-brand split, Backlash.

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Matty’s 2016 UNREASONABLE NFL PREDICTIONS

 

Let me first begin this annual catastrophy with a little context about how much work went into this year’s “Unreasonables.” I started this around the week before the preseason started, but really knocked out a huge chunk the Monday following all the teams’ second preseason game. What in the hell was I thinking? I didn’t want to procrastinate and just barf a lot of words without much thought.

tangocash460-440x220There have been several events in the past few weeks that forced me to not only overhaul a lot of my predictions, but also overhaul a kickass podcast with Grant Sawyer, Technical Director for CWF Mid-Atlantic Pro Wrestling. You wrestling fans have heard of Trevor Lee, Andrew Everett, No Way Jose, and Cedric Alexander, right? Well, Grant shot almost the entirety of the aforementioned wrestlers’ time on the independents. He also loves the NFL. He has a “reasonable” outlook on football. I have an “unreasonable” outlook. He’s a Packers fan. I’m an Eagles fan. Sweet and Sour. Tango and Cash. The “overhaul” is more so a re-recording.

Alright. So last year was so bad I must have deleted my picks late one night after another miserable week of pro football (and a few beers). My picks last year stunk. My fantasy teams stunk. I broke my rule of not drafting any teams from the NFC East last season in all my leagues and paid for it. (Thanks, Eli.) FanDuel is wasted money. Oh, and then the Philadelphia Eagles devoured another portion of my soul with their frivolous and laughable effort last season (or lack thereof, depending on who you’re talking about). #bums

Chip Kelly

I’ve seen teams quit on coaches my entire life. It usually happens every season to one or two teams in their respective sports. Now, I’m speaking of American sports. I know politics of “coach v. players” internationally often spells trouble with players “quitting” on their coaches. In my life I’ve witnessed the Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers totally give up on the man in charge. Never have the Eagles taken a shit like the one they took for sixteen weeks last season. I’ll get to them, though. A lot of you know of my fandom and are probs going to just scroll to see what I said about their respective squads as well as mine. It’s cool. Samesies.

Before I get right to the picks, I want to take a look at the scope of the National Football League coming into the 2016 season. (Don’t you hate it when people say, “The 2016-17 NFL season”?) Firstly, the NFC is pretty deep as far as the competition goes. I see at least two divisions with three teams that may have shots at the postseason. It’s hard for me to say the Super Bowl winner will be from the NFC, but the Super Bowl winner is probably going to be from the NFC.

As for the other guys, you’ve got the New England Patriots, and then everyone else. Honestly, there are so many questionable teams in the AFC. If the Pats don’t get off to a fast start without Tom Brady, I still think they’ll be able to pull together a 10-6 record at minimum. I think that the AFC North looks similar to the NFC North in having a clear-cut favorite up top. The Cincinnati Bengals, for all intents and purposes, are built to win a lot of games this year. Their schedule somewhat dictates it, but the Bengals have five primetime games. For some reason, Andy Dalton is straight trash playing on television with millions tuned in. The rest of the team seems to similarly underperform under lights during Marvin Lewis’ impressive regime. So that’s five losses right there, basically.

marvPlayers are still making the decision to take weird drugs and count on a “check mark” from an app that says whether or not you’ve passed a drug test. These guys make so much flipping loot. Why can’t they chill out for a month or two and get their heads straight. Then they can take their drug tests (that they know about), before the season starts, get that shit out of the way, and then blaze up or do more steroids. Whatever. I have to remember they’re also kids.

“Kids are stupid.” – Marv, Home Alone

One trend I want to see come back around this season are the running backs dictating their own offensive schemes. There are some solid young backs in the league that change games. They need guys to block, but there are a few game-breakers with suspect O-lines that can still get it done. Between Todd Gurley and David Johnson, or old standards like Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles, and even rookies Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry, the running backs’ roles in this upcoming season are unpredictable at best. I want to see a 98-yarder this season, though. Give me something spectacular week to week. (I miss LaDainian Tomlinson.)

I was so wrong with my predictions last season in comparison to 2014. It hurt. In previous years, My layout was: separate by the divisions and predict the records for all 32 teams and where they fall. This season, I’m going at this alphabetically and will attempt to: give you how I would “book” a team’s season, or what I think is destined to happen to said team. If there is one prediction this season I feel will hold true, it’s this: our champion this year will play the “destiny” card. It’s been a while since a team got to the postseason and the experts said, “All the rest of you are f###ed. These guys are on their way to and through the Super Bowl. Look out.”

With that, here’s MATTY’S 2016 UNREASONABLE NFL PICKS.

cardsARIZONA CARDINALS – The first thing that screams out at me is the Cards’ six home games in the first 10 weeks with a bye. Following Week 10, they have only two home games. Road games against the Falcs, ‘Hawks, and Rams late I believe will prove testing. Is Carson Palmer spent? Is the tank dry? Has the milk gone bad? It may not if their RB I mentioned earlier, David Johnson, can stay healthy (name of the game) and get a hefty amount of carries. Bruce Arians is fantastic and one of those coaches that could win with anything. Their 3-4 is proven, but their rookie corner, Brandon Williams, is not. With Patrick Peterson’s deadly ass on the other side, quarterbacks will be working Williams’ side early and often. This team should have Wild Card aspirations at the very least. I feel they might falter late, but not fail to reach the playoffs. If they’re the big banger in the NFC, they’ll find a way to figure out the second half.

2016 RECORD: 11-5ish. 

105517-15210191frATLANTA FALCONS – Boy did these guys suck ass last year. I’m not even going to throw on an, “or what?” They were bad during the last three quarters of the season. I don’t know what the deal is with the offense. Maybe Matt Ryan gets too much of a pass for some reason. (No pun.) He’s had one good year. Julio Jones gets hurt and ends up missing a few weeks every season. If he keeps it up, we might have another Calvin Johnson on our hands. Oh wait, the only difference would be Calvin’s numbers are stupid good. Jones is so damn dangerous but never on the field to yield. If you’re picking DeVonte Freeman in your fantasy draft, it’ll be on a “best available” basis because last year was a fluke, not to mention that he fell off once he got tired from doing all the work offensively. Freeman couldn’t play defense, unfortunately. That’s really where the Falcs are f###ed. I could beat Atlanta’s starting cornerback Robert Alford. It would have to be a slant pattern. And a bullet pass. Alright, maybe not, but who in the hell is that dude? They’re gonna blow again.

2016 RECORD: 4-12. Ish. 

fb061de4ae305e9beaeab9bb137f5f62BALTIMORE RAVENS – Ugh. The first AFC team. Who gives a shit, right? I’m kidding. People like AFC football in some places. Hey, like in Baltimore—home of brutal crimes, corrupt politicians, and boring-ass football! I mean, seriously, it’s tough to watch a Ravens game if you’re not a Ravens fan. It always has been. THEY WERE THE BROWNS! They’ve never had anyone super-spectacular on offense wearing the purple and spicy mustard. Except for Brandon Stokley. (vvvvvh) Joe Flacco is overpaid AF as f###. Dude is a mop; a broomstick with arms. He found Dan Pitta a couple times late in the season and Flac won me a fantasy Super Bowl three years ago—oh yeah, and a Super Bowl for himself. Still boring. There’s nothing exciting about this team. No one’s talking about them. WATCH THE HELL OUT. Eh, or not.

2016 RECORD: 9-7ish/could win the division

billsBUFFALO BILLS – Now here’s a brand of AFC football that I can dig. Throughout my entire life watching the NFL, the Bills definitely remind be of the agony a team can inflict on a fan base annually. These guys need to get their shit together and start stringing some wins and winning seasons together. Tyrod Taylor is legit. I know Bills fans hope that the new contract won’t be all Taylor was subconsciously looking for. Taylor needs to be looking for Sammy Watkins, healthy, wide open down the field. If Watkins ends up hurt again, he’s going to get wrote off. LeSean McCoy hasn’t gone anywhere. (Thanks, Chip.) Rex Ryan brought in his brother, Bob, to instruct an already tough defense. I got to see a bit more of Buffalo than usual last season. They have one of those “bend but don’t usually break” squads. However, they broke a little too much last year. I hope they make the playoffs, but I dunno, man. I think the Bills are better than the Jets and the Dolphins, but they need to survive the NFC West and win all their late home games.

2016 RECORD: 8-8ish 

panthersCAROLINA PANTHERS – For the “Cats,” last season was a case of having an amazing 15-1/ 16-0 regular season record that will be mostly forgotten for eternity because they didn’t win the Super Bowl. My suggestion to Carolina: Enter this year acting like you’ve been there before on top of acting like you didn’t just win a championship. I’ve watched only one of their preseason games and already some of the dipshits from last season are acting like they’re the defending 3x Super Bowl Champions. Fortunately, for these scumbags, they don’t have any competition in their division. The Falcons, Bucs, and Saints all shit the bed with the worst of them. This’ll give Cam Newton plenty of time to get re-acclimated with wide out Kelvin Benjamin, who if he hadn’t gotten hurt last season, may have given these jerks a right to “too sweet” like they’re the best in the world. They’re not and won’t be at the end of this season either. It’s not that I don’t hope they disappoint. I totally do, but 15-1 in 2016 the Panthros are not. Fact.

2016 RECORD: 12-4ish

bearsCHICAGO BEARS – Yay, Bears! It’s (maybe) the last season of the Jay Cutler era. So much loot could be available next season and if you’re a fan, it’s hard not to think of the possibilities. Now, in 2016, the Bears are about as mediocre as you can get. They remind me of the Baltimore Ravens. Breyer’s vanilla. There’s nothing with that, you know, if you like just plain vanilla. I mean, I need a little fudge. Anyway, Da Bears lost Matt Forte, so now Jeremy Langford takes over? Yikes. Alshon Jeffery is still around, but I need you folks to take a hard look in wide out Kevin White’s direction. He was hurt last season in the real world, but in video world (Madden 16) he dominated the NFL. I know this for a fact because I, as quarterback, led the Bears to four consecutive Super Bowl titles. This information in no way adds more color to the Bears in the real world. If “my” team were heading into this season, it’d be a no-brainer.

2016 RECORD (w/ QB Matt de Simone): 15-1ish—Super Bowl City

2016 RECORD (w/ Jay Cutler): 7-9/8-8ish—new contract elsewhere next year

bengalsCINCINNATI BENGALS – Holy geez I want to predict these guys into the show this season. (Hey! Madden 17 ideas!) I wrote a bit about the Bengs at the onset of this year’s “Unreasonables.” In review: They suck in primetime, have five primetime games (MIA, WSH, @ NYG, PIT, @ HOU [last two b2b]), and might lose them all. We’ll hear about it the week before their first primetime challenge. If they lose to MIA at home, well, we’ll hear it again when they host WSH on Halloween Eve. I think they should have a Halloween primetime game in Cincy every year. All this said, they’re still the best team in the division with my five projected losses.

2016 RECORD: 10-6ish

brownsCLEVELAND BROWNS – When I first filled out my predictions, I didn’t realize I skipped over the Browns until I recorded the first take of the Wrestling With Football podcast. You can tell where my head is on these guys.

2016 RECORD: 4-12

 

cowboysDALLAS COWBOYS – Here’s where I grab the book. Okay. Let’s take a look at what the Cowboys have done in the past 12 months. They drafted the previously mentioned Ohio State standout, Ezekiel Elliott. They dumped Greg Hardy. Smart. They agreed to terms on a one-year extension for Rolando McClain. He’s going to have a good 2017 season possibly. Not this year though. He’ll have six games to prove the extension was worth it. Then with the money he makes, he can buy a shitload of weed and smoke it a lot. I said this because he’s another dumbass that can’t take a month off of the trees in order to make millions and have a job that 95% of the United States’ adult male population would never ever smoke weed again for. Idiot. Tony Romo is “broke” again. Dak Prescott is scary from the prospective of an Eagles fan. Will they win the NFC East? I really don’t know. If people thought the division was bad last year, just wait until the Independence Day: Resurgence of total ass-football. It’s happening. (This was written around 8/23-24—I later added the Romo/Dak thing. If Dak progresses well and has one of those rookie years where the “new guy” is nearly perfect, look out. I probably just spent more time on these assholes than I will on the Birds. (Probs not.) Ugh. Get this season over with.)

2016 RECORD: 7-9/10-6ish… just depends. 

broncsDENVER BRONCOS – The defending Super Bowl champions enter the offseason with all the experts asking what the hell they were going to do at quarterback. For those you who don’t know what a TV is or have never experienced a Sunday on Facebook, Peyton Manning retired. (So at least he can’t get suspended. See: PACKERS) Without #18, what do you do? Draft Paxton Lynch, who will likely be the best QB from the 2016 draft class. Or maybe not. Trevor Siemian has now been named the starter. The Broncs are going to be the first team to ever come off of a Super Bowl win starting the season with a QB who’s never thrown a pass in the NFL. Von Miller will only take them so far. 2016 might be struggle for the defending champs.

2016 RECORD: 7-9ish

lionsDETROIT LIONS – What an “exciting” franchise. Vanilla ice cream. I got nothing here. Matt Stafford. Calvin Johns—oh wait. Yeah, dead last in the NFC Central for suresies. (Although the Bears aren’t looking too “7-9ish.” More like “5-11ish.”)

2016 RECORD: 5-11/6-10ish

 

packersGREEN BAY PACKERS – When the strength of schedule numbers dropped, so did a small piece of vomit I had to swallow when I saw that the Green Bay Packers have a cherry ride that spells: C-O-A-S-T-I-N-G. Five straight home games (counting the bye week in Green Bay, so four). I turned away briefly, then looked back at the screen and it spelled: O-H  Y-E-A-H,  U-N-L-E-S-S E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E  G-E-T-S  H-U-R-T  A-G-A-I-N  L-I-K-E  P-R-E-U-S-U-A-L. After a gentle brush of my knuckles over my eyes and it read “COASTING” again. “A-A-Ron” Rodgers is a quarterback that should have, like, three Super Bowl rings. He’s going to have the Pack read’ ta go.

2016 RECORD: 12-4ish

texansHOUSTON TEXANS – This team got totally screwed when the schedules were made. Back-to-back home games are key, but b2b away games suck. They didn’t get the Packers “feelski” that the NFL gave them by any means. In the second half of the year, the Texans have two b2b away trips. If they’re around a game or two out of a Wild Card spot, @ GB and @ IND are their late season proving grounds. As far as changes go, Lamar Miller is going to help DeAndre Hopkins find room in the play/pass game, but Brock Osweiler? What’s he going to do?

2016 RECORD: 6-10ish 

coltsINDIANAPOLIS COLTS – They’re the class of the AFC South. In 2016, that’s not really saying too much. Maybe it is, who knows. Again, there aren’t many teams this season that will benefit from back-to-back home games. I don’t know why this is so glaring. Colts can be lumped in with the unfortunate task of proving themselves in December. Their last four games are tough. For most of the league, a trip to Jacksonville Week 17 is a godsend. However, when you’re in the AFC South, the team below can ruin your entire life. If Andrew Luck stays healthy, he’s good enough to get them into the playoffs on his own will. It’s the defense that was 26th last year that needs to wake up or they won’t be going far in January.

2016 RECORD: 11-5/10-6ish

jaguarsJACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – I’ve lived in Florida for nearly three years. I’m two plus hours away from J-Ville and I don’t hear much about the Jags from the locals. Something tells me that if I were to travel up to that part of the state, not too much would be said there as well. It’s a shame too because if Allen Robinson gets slept on again, he’s going to become fantasy gold forever after this season. Why? Because he’s awesome. Blake Bortles has got himself a full season under his belt. He threw for 4,400+ yards (Robinson caught for 1,400) and 35 touchdowns last season. If this were 1986, Bortles would be considered a phenom. In 2016, he’s just a young, promising quarterback on a shitty team. If they get a running game going with T.J. Yeldon, Chris Ivory, and Denard Robinson, that’s a three-headed monster that could be dangerous for years to come. Much like the Colts, their defense has needs and zero depth.

2016 RECORD: 8-8ish 

chefsKANSAS CITY CHIEFS – If there were a fortuneteller who lived next door, one of my first questions pertaining to the upcoming NFL slate of entertainment would be: When is Jammal Charles going to get hurt and miss the remainder of the season? It’s a good question! If he doesn’t get hurt, then Alex Smith won’t either. Now, Jeremy Maclin—in my experience—is a sure fire scratch at least three weeks from Sept.-Dec. So with all of the pending injuries, where do the “Chefs” stand in the now much more interesting AFC West? The division for years has been the worst to sit through week after week. Now, there are three teams that could win this division. Being seventh in total defense isn’t bad considering the only other team in their division above them were the Broncs. The Chiefs most definitely has a chance to make some moves in 2016.

2016 RECORD: 9-7ish

ramsLOS ANGELES RAMS – The Rams returning to the L.A. Coliseum—original site of Wrestlemania VII (“We don’t care how you get there, JUST get there!)—is a win for the franchise before they enter the regular season. It seemed that’s where you held any cool event that happened in the 80’s. Could this campaign be a revival of the “Ram It” Rams? This squad has the third easiest schedule in the league, but Case Keenum? Jared Goff has already gotten banged up. I love Todd Gurley’s upside… in another offense. If they can’t get the ball up in the air, I would stack nine in the box and beg Case to throw up a duck. Despite the easy schedule, I don’t see the Rams “ramming.” But, as usual, here’s the MV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxkKlzInR4Y. Feel free to play it on repeat while reading the rest of the Unreasonables.

2016 RECORD: 6-10ish 

dolfsMIAMI DOLPHINS – Here’s another brand of Breyer’s. Jay Ajayi was the name I was trying to get people to draft in my one and only fantasy football league this year. Why? No clue. Sounded good. I thought Arian Foster was going to be the new starting running back. I don’t see him on the depth chart. He played in the third preseason game, but it looks like Ajayi may have the starting job after all. Whatever. Their defense was ranked in the bottom tier last year after many people thought Ndamukong Suh would be a much needed run stopper. No. I think the system benefited him in Detroit, but we’ll talk about the man responsible for Suh’s rookie success later. The Dolphins are going to suck.

2016 RECORD 2016: 5-11ish 

vikesMINNESOTA VIKINGS – (original from around 8/24) This team could be deadly to the Packers, much less the rest of the league. If there is one team that will have biggest “veteran” turnaround in 2016, it’s the “Vikes.” And no, I’m not talking about their record. They very well may end up an 11-5 Wild Card. I’m talking about getting out of the first round of the playoffs on the backs of their stars—some young; some old. Teddy Bridgewater looks seasoned and ready to fly. Adrian Peterson is still “A.D.” You know you’ll get at least 10 solid performances from one of the greatest running backs ever. The area of the Vikings not a lot of people talk about is their defense. Seattle (who won 10-9 at the Vikings old park during the 2015 Wild Card round) is the only defense in the NFC who gave up less PPG than Minnesota. Oh yeah, and the Vikings have a sweet new stadium (with bad acoustics, apparently). I’ll write it now: Look for a SEA-MIN rematch in the 2016 Playoffs.

2016 RECORD: 10-6ish

(updated)

screen-shot-2016-09-08-at-1-47-23-amHAHAHA! I’m so sorry, “Ape.” You’re one of my favorite player ever, but dude. No. Not your boy. Everyone is loading eight to nine in the box and you’re not 24 anymore.

2016 RECORD: 7-9ish

patsNEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – As I stated earlier, there’s no better team in the AFC. This conference reminds me of the NFC in the early 2000’s. Really thin bread. If you want Texas Toast, you need to look over at the NFC. Janeane Garofalo has looked solid filling in for Tom Terrific. Their receiving core is extremely deep. Chris Hogan is who I feel will end up being the breakout star. We all know Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola are not going to play 16 games, much less 10 respectively. I also think that Martellus Bennett will play a major role in two TE, goal line sets. Much like the Vikings, their defense doesn’t get the credit they deserve. They too held teams to less than 20 a game. However, the D couldn’t hold the Broncos in the same vein as 20 points proved to be enough to punch Denver’s ticket to Super Bowl 50. We all saw how that turned out. The Patriots are so dangerous when there’s a bad taste in their mouths. Tom will be stewing for the first four weeks like Michael Corleone, or Tony Montana. Maybe I should just say Al Pacino. You get the idea.

2016 RECORD: 11-5ish 

saintsNEW ORLEANS SAINTS – I was honestly hoping to have Sean Peyton in Philadelphia for this season. That way, Drew Brees could’ve followed in suit. That didn’t happen. Both stayed in New Orleans so let’s have a look at their weapons. I see no Marcus Colston or Robert Meachem. They have Brandin Cooks, who proved to be a solid target after his first full year. Other than Cooks, I don’t really see a lot of power offensively. The same goes for the other side of the ball. Their defense was dead last in the NFL. They drafted a defensive tackle in the first round, but that isn’t going to sure up shit. Between them and Falcs, I’m not sure who’s going to finish last in their division.

2016 RECORD: 5-11ish

gmenNEW YORK GIANTS – Anyone else have the same feeling about the “G-Men” as they did in 2007 or 2011? I didn’t see those two Super Bowl titles coming. I don’t want to be blindsided this year. This team might end up in the NFC Championship in January. New coach Ben McAdoo inherits a pretty good squad. Odell Beckham Jr. is arguably the best player in the league. He’s a nightmare to cover over the middle and down the sidelines. However, he’s been ducking out of a few throws over the middle this preseason. I hope these are business decisions and not a case of being afraid to get hit. I almost pool together running a bad slant then getting smoked by a 275 pound LB into the same category as spinning out and busting the wall of the “tunnel turn” at Pocono. Can’t blame him, but still. Do that in the regular season and you should sit the bench. It’s football. I like the Giants to win the NFC East.

2016 RECORD: 10-6ish 

jetsNEW YORK JETS – I’m always looking forward to predicting the Jets’ year. What? Is that surprising? Okay, well, it should be because I’m lying. If you’re having a contract dispute with Ryan Fitzpatrick, you’re not going anywhere any time soon. I get it. He beloved in New York after showing guts in 2015. Matt Forte is a nice addition, sure. They have a decent defense. The schedule looks pretty good in the second half of the year, but the three “back-to-back” sets of road trips early on will have to set up a nice cushion at home later in the year. They have only two road games after Week 9. A Wild Card could be a possibility, but they’re going to have to play a full season as opposed to catching fire at the wrong time. Seems like that always happens to the J-E-T-S.

2016 RECORD: 9-7ish

raidersOAKLAND RAIDERS – I mentioned the Vikings being a “turnaround team” in the aspect of getting over the hump of the first round of the playoffs. The Raiders might be the most well-rounded turnaround team of the year. They were 7-9 last season and up until the conclusion of the offseason, no one realized, Hey, these guys might be pretty good. They don’t have a stout defense yet, but they drafted West Virginia safety Karl Joseph in the first round and, apparently, this kid is a machine. I like Derek Carr. He’s another gutsy QB who seems to get planted week after week but before he’s drilled, he releases one of the most beautiful downfield throws of anyone in the game. Amari Cooper is the real deal and I believe will continue to come into his own as one of the AFC’s elite. They win the AFC West.

2016 RECORD: 10-6ish 

eaglesPHILADELPHIA EAGLES – All eyes are on new head coach Doug Peterson and when he’s going to insert Carson Wentz into the starting QB role. ß That was written around the end of August. We now know the answer: Week 1. Geez.

First, Chip Kelly set them back so much. Howie Roseman is doing what he can now he can actually do stuff again. I don’t know if DeSean Jackson and LeSean McCoy are Hall of Famers, but they probably would’ve played in Philadelphia for 3-4 more seasons. If “if’s” and “but’s” were candy and nuts… Hey, they’re 8-0 in the preseason for the past two years. Yay.

Look it, the Eagles definitely do not have the QB worst situation (see: SF, DEN, CLE). They’re just really unproven at the moment, unless Wentz is a prodigy a la Andrew Luck. What bothers me is that Sam Bradford didn’t look that bad. His play sort of put my mind at ease. Then, they traded him to the desperate Vikings for a FIRST ROUNDER NEXT SEASON. The Eagles are pulling “Sixers moves.”

C-Wentz played a quarter in the preseason. The Browns suck, but it’s the NFL regular season. Everyone is wanting to bite the heads off chickens. It’ll be a cringe-worthy afternoon Sunday.

I’m looking forward to seeing how Jim Schwartz moves the defensive pieces. I’m so glad the Birds got him as defensive coordinator. He’s without a doubt the best DC they’ve had since the late Jim Johnson. His track record proves it. Remember when I wrote about the reason why Ndamukong Suh was a beast when he was in Detroit his first few years? That would be mostly Schwartz’s doing. The Eagles defense has looked damn good in the preseason, but it’s the preseason. I feel the Birds around going to lose a lot of 20-16, 17-13 games this season. Hello, 1987. Just remember what happened the next season. Be prepared to take a lot of jabs this year, Birds’ fans.

2016 RECORD: 6-10ish 
steelersPITTSBURGH STEELERS –
How good are these guys in 2016? I look at this team and see few defensive flaws, but once LeVeon Bell returns, the defense may just need to bend more than brake. For some reason, I picture Super Bowl 51 featuring the Steelers versus the New York Giants. Heels, bro. A bad-guy Super Bowl. Am I aiming for the absolute worst scenario? Maybe. However, one could argue that both the Steelers and Giants match up well with one another. Funny. They play on December 4th. I guess my theory will be put to the test. Where will the Steelers be then? The Giants game is sandwich between two back-to-back road ventures. It’s all about Ben Roethlisberger finding Antonio Brown at the right place, at the right time, all the time. Most teams won’t be able to keep up. They need to take care of the division first and foremost.

2016 RECORD: 10-6ish 

chargeSAN DIEGO CHARGERS – Earlier when talking about my Madden adventures as the captain of the Chicago Bears (and later Eagles). This season, I’ve decided to right the ship that is the Super Chargers. Put the SUPER back in the Charge. Why? Because no one else is going to in 2016. Keenan Allen is a beast, but I no longer trust Philip Rivers’ ability to throw with the accuracy of an upper echelon QB. This team is rebuilding in a city that has way better things to do than root on a mediocre franchise. It’s San Diego. I’ve never been there before but I hear it’s the deal. Look for the Chargers to possibly screw the better teams in the AFC West over down the stretch. I won’t pay much attention to these guys. Instead, I’m going to break every passing record, and then demand a trade to Philly—on my couch. How else am I gon’ get it?

2016 RECORD: 5-11ish 

ninersSAN FRANSISCO 49ERS  – I’m not going to touch these guys. Have fun with that bunch, jerky.

2016 RECORD: 4-12ish

 

 

seahawks

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – I have no doubt these guys will start 4-0. Of course, I say that now, but something could happen to change the course of the Seahawks getting back to the playoffs. Arizona has an opening that favors them as well. The ‘Hawks and Cardinals go head-to-head Week 7 in primetime and could likely have maybe one or two losses between them. Russell Wilson is a QB that will always find a way to manage the game using whatever skill players he has at his disposal. Thomas Rawls is touted as a suitable candidate to ease the loss of Marshawn Lynch. That remains to be seen. I drafted him as my RB 1, so, he better produce. The defense is just as strong as ever. Throw on them if you dare.

2016 RECORD: 10-6ish

bucsTAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – I have to admit that I’m pretty high on the Bucs last year. As a matter of fact, I think I picked them as the 8th seed in the Wildcard last year. That’s an example of how crappy my picks were last year. A week ago, I looked at them as a NFC dark horse once again, however, with the current situation at QB in Dallas, I’m not so sure that Jameis Winston will keep the Bucs in enough games to contend. The defense is still questionable at best. You can lot these guys into those teams that will be good in a year or two depending on their acquisitions and development of young talent.

2016 RECORD: 7-9ish 

titansTENNESSEE TITANS – While the running game in Tennessee looks extremely formidable in 2016, not much was done to give Marcus Mariota weapons to target in the air. Without wide receivers that keep the corners and LBs on their toes, teams can still load the box against Demarco Murray and Derrick Henry.

2016 RECORD: 6-10ish

 

 

skinsWASHINGTON “REDSKINS” – I don’t like ‘em.

2016 RECORD: 7-9ish

 

 

 

 

2016 AFC Playoff Teams: OAKLAND, INDIANAPOLIS, PITTSBURGH, NEW ENGLAND, *KANSAS CITY, *CINNCY

 2016 NFC Playoff Teams: ARIZONA, CAROLINA, GREEN BAY, NY GIANTS, *SEATTLE, *DALLAS

 SUPER BOWL 51: PITTSBURGH over NY GIANTS following a small package brainbuster at 23:46.

I’m going to bed.

 

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Matt de Simone is no expert on the professional football. However, this time of the year brings him great joy. Enjoy Rocktember.

 

 

 

The Wresting With FOOTBALL Podcast – Episode 1: “The NFL is the worst drug ever.”

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