Becoming The Bar


In life, it’s easier to fail than it is to succeed. In sports, it’s easier to lose than it is to win. You have to have talent, skills, chemistry, motivation and willing to put the team first. Dominance is not achieved by accident. Consistency doesn’t happen overnight. Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick have set the bar in their respective sports for almost the past 2 decades.

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There are plenty of similarities between the two in my eyes. Both have won 5 championships as head coaches (Popovich: 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2014. Belichick: 2002, 2004, 2005, 2015, 2017). Each coach has had a transcending and iconic player during their championship runs (Popovich: Tim Duncan. Belichick: Tom Brady). Both coaches have established a culture to where it’s about the name on the front of the jersey instead of the back. When it comes to the media, both of them have had unique responses to questions asked.

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Even with the success, both have had their share of scrutiny. Popovich has been criticized for being “short” with his answers to questions about basketball. However, he’s opinionated about questions outside of the sport, like politics and social issues. Personally, I don’t have a problem with it because life is bigger than the NBA, but I understand the frustration of the media at times. Belichick and the New England Patriots were under fire for “Spygate” and “Deflategate”. Spygate occurred in 2007 when the team was caught filming the New York Jets play-call signals. Deflategate happened in 2015 against the Indianapolis Colts during the AFC Championship game where the Patriots were accused of having slightly underinflated footballs.

What I do appreciate the most about both coaches is their consistency over the years. Since the NBA lockout shortened-season in 1999, the San Antonio Spurs have won a least 50 games each season and are on pace to extend the streak this season. The Spurs have been able to demonstrate their winning culture with different players over the years. It started with the “Twin Tower” era with David Robinson and Tim Duncan. Then it changed to the Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili era. Now Kawhi Leonard is the face of the franchise with LaMarcus Aldridge next to him. The common denominator has been Gregg Popovich and his ability to adjust his coaching with the personnel around him.

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Since becoming the head coach in 2000 for the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick has won 15 division titles and has won at least 10 games since 2003. Like the San Antonio Spurs, the Patriots have been able to continue their winning culture by plugging in players around Tom Brady that fits the system. Brady went from having Troy Brown as his favorite target to Deion Branch, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Rob Gronkowski, and Julian Edelman.

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When you set the bar for excellence, you eventually become the bar. Gregg Popovich and Bill Belichick have done just that. With respect to Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, and Pat Riley, I believe Gregg Popovich is the greatest coach in NBA history. I firmly believe the same for Bill Belichick in the NFL. You don’t have to be a fan of either, but you have to respect their greatness to keep this longevity of excellence up for almost 20 years.

JGOOD

Super Bowl LI


Today is bittersweet for the NFL. Even though this is the biggest game of the year, this is also the last game of the NFL season until the summer time. I do enjoy other sports that are active during the NFL offseason, but not having Sunday NFL Countdown, Monday Night Football, and even fantasy football leaves an unreplaceable void. With that being said, let’s hope this game ends with a bang.

At 39 years old, Tom Brady is making his 7th trip to the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots have looked dominant the whole season, even with Brady being suspended the first 4 games of the regular season due to “Deflate-gate”. Even though New England has been without their superstar tight end Ron Gronkowski since November 13th, the additions of Chris Hogan, Martellus Bennett, and Michael Floyd have given the offense more depth. Already having Julian Edelman, LeGarrette Blount, Danny Amendola, and Dion Lewis, the New England Patriots have never lost a step.

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This season’s league MVP, Matt Ryan, has led his team to the Super Bowl for the first time since 1999. Ryan is the ringleader to this high-power offense, who was the highest scoring team in the NFL (33.8 points per game) 2nd in the NFL in total offense. Center Alex Mack has been the unsung hero of this offense. Atlanta arguably has the best 1-2 punch at running back with Devonta Freeman and Tevon Coleman. Atlanta finished top 5 in the NFL in rushing this season. The Atlanta Falcons have improved their wide receiver core by adding speedster Taylor Gabriel and possession receiver Mohamed Sanu. I forgot to mention that Atlanta already has arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL with Julio Jones.

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It’s kind of hard to bet against New England. They have had consistency at the coaching and quarterback positions between Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Also, those 2 individuals had plenty of experience in the Super Bowl. Their offense is good because of their versatility. Their defense has played well at times, but it’s not as consistent as their last Super Bowl appearance 2 years ago. I wouldn’t be surprised if New England wins today for these reasons alone. However, I believe Atlanta’s offense will be a problem. Once this offense gets rolling, it’s almost impossible to stop it (I think of it like a snowball running downhill). New England has never scored a touchdown in the first quarter of any Super Bowl. This will probably be the toughest offense New England has ever seen in the biggest game. As good as Malcolm Butler is, I don’t think he can stop Julio Jones by himself (if he is to cover him). Atlanta’s defense has stepped up in the playoffs, getting consistent pressure on opposing quarterbacks. I’m officially going with the “underdog” tonight. I have the Atlanta Falcons defeating the New England Patriots 27-21.

JGOOD

NFL Season Predictions 2016


My good friend D.Reed and I are making our predictions for this upcoming season. Make sure you check him and myself out on social media for NFL updates and Fantasy Football advice.
D.Reed @freshprynce23 (Instagram)
JGood @jgoodwithsports (Twitter and Instagram)

Divison Winners and Wildcard

AFC North
Cincinnati – JGood
Pittsburgh – D.Reed

AFC South
Jacksonville – JGood
Houston – D.Reed

AFC East
New England – JGood
New England – D.Reed

AFC West
Oakland – JGood
Kansas City – D.Reed

Wildcard Spots
New York Jets/Pittsburgh – JGood
Denver/Indianapolis – D.Reed

NFC North
Green Bay – JGood
Green Bay – D.Reed

NFC South
Carolina – JGood
Carolina – D.Reed

NFC East
New York Giants – JGood
Washington – D.Reed

NFC West
Arizona – JGood
Seattle – D.Reed

Wildcard Spots
Seattle/Dallas – JGood
Arizona/Minnesota – D.Reed

Superbowl Outcome
Arizona 24, New England 21 – JGood
Pittsburgh 30, Seattle 27 – D.Reed

AWARD WINNERS

MVP
Carson Palmer – JGood
Russell Wilson/Ben Roethlisberger – D.Reed

Offensive POY
Antonio Brown – JGood
Antonio Brown – D.Reed

Defensive POY
Khalil Mack – JGood
Khalil Mack/Von Miller – D.Reed

Offensive ROY
Carson Wentz – JGood
Ezekiel Elliot – D.Reed

Defensive ROY
Jalen Ramsey – JGood
Jalen Ramsey – D.Reed

Coach Of The Year
Bruce Arians (Arizona) – JGood
Jack Del Rio (Oakland) – D.Reed

Comeback POY
Jordy Nelson – JGood
Kelvin Benjamin – D.Reed.

 

 

My Favorite Superbowls


This list isn’t me ranking the all time Superbowl games but just me pointing out my favorites that I’ve witnessed over the years.

Superbowl XXXII Denver Broncos vs Green Bay Packers

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Even though I grew up to become a die hard Chicago Bears fan, Steve Young and Brett Favre were my quarterbacks growing up. Seeing Favre and John Elway go at it made the first Superbowl I remember special. Even though the Packers had weapons on offense (Antonio Freeman and Dorsey Levens), but nobody was touching Terrell Davis that year. I remember that game came down to the wire with a Broncos win.

Superbowl XXXIV St Louis Rams vs Tennessee Titans

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The “Greatest Show On Turf” is arguably the greatest offense in NFL history. Engineered by Kurt Warner, him, Issac Bruce, Marshall Faulk, and Torry Holt set were bobbing and weaving while setting NFL records. The Titans came up a yard short in the final seconds of sending the game into over

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*ALL OF THE SUPERBOWLS INVOLVING THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS AND TOM BRADY HAVE BEEN GOOD. ALSO I WOULD MENTION LAST YEAR’S SUPERBOWL BUT PETE CARROLL MESSED THAT UP*

Superbowl XLI Indianapolis Colts vs Chicago Bears

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Even though my favorite team lost, just the fact they I’ve witnessed them being there (and Devin Hester run the opening kick off back for a touchdown) made it a special. My dad recorded and kept showing me the 85′ Bears Superbowl XX when they dismantled the New England Patriots. Hopefully one day they will win one in my lifetime.

Superbowl XLIII Pittsburgh Steelers vs Arizona Cardinals

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This game was very exciting. Kurt Warner revived his career in Arizona after disappearing when he left St Louis. Him and arguably the most underrated wide receiver tandem in NFL history (Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin) didn’t disappoint on the big stage. However, Santonio Holmes didn’t disappoint either with one of the best game winning touchdown catches in Superbowl history.

Superbowl XLIV New Orleans Saints vs Indianapolis Colts

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This was probably the most meaningful Superbowl win for a team in recent memory. Just about 3 years removed from Hurricane Katrina, Drew Brees and that explosive offense handed Peyton Manning his first Superbowl loss.

JGOOD

JGood’s Superbowl 50 Run Down


The Carolina Panthers (11 offense and 6 defense) will take on the Denver Broncos (16 offense and 1 defense) Sunday for Superbowl 50. Peyton Manning will attempt to possibly ride off into the sunset with a Superbowl win like Jerome Bettis, Ray Lewis, and even his boss John Elway. The Broncos are back in the Superbowl for their second time in the Manning era. Their last visit was a disaster, getting trampled by Seattle. This time their defense is up to the challenge, but their offense nothing similar of that Superbowl team. Can Peyton add another Superbowl Title to his legacy? Will Peyton retire after this game like so much has be speculating that he will? Only time will tell.

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The Carolina Panthers will be making their 2nd Superbowl appearance in franchise history; their first in the Cam Newton era. This team was written off on majority’s Superbowl list when Kelvin Benjamin tore his ACL before the season. Newton became “Supercam”, and along with that stellar defense went on to only lose 1 game this season. The made the best of what they got and the presumed MVP of the season is looking to cap off this historic season with a Lombardi trophy.

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This will be the first time 2 number one overall picks will be playing in the Superbowl (Manning and Newton), and the first time the number one and number two overall picks from the same draft class will playing as well (Newton and Von Miller). I expect this to be a close defensive game or Carolina to blow Denver out. Denver’s offense is not what it used to be but you never know what could happen.

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Denver wins if:
They can run the ball and convert 3rd downs. To beat Carolina, you have to be able to effectively run the football. The problem is that generally the Panthers defense is dominant against opposing running backs. If you have make Peyton Manning consistently convert 3rd and longs against this elite defense, they’ll be in for a long game.

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Carolina wins if:
They can keep the Broncos defense honest and stop the pass rush. In order to keep the defense honest, Carolina will have to run the ball effectively or have a balance play call between run and pass plays. Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware were playing extraordinary in their win against New England. If that can neutralize that and Cam Newton has time, the Panthers has a really good chance of winning.

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What do you think will be the x-factor? Who will shine the brightest on the big stage? Will we see a “David Tyree-type-of-play”? Will one of the coaches pull a ” Pete Carroll”? What do you think will be the outcome of this game? Tell me your thoughts of the game.

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JGOOD