NEW WAVE IS ON THE WAY!

NEW WAVE IS ON THE WAY!

By Ed Kracz
NFL Contributor for The Balance

A new wave of quarterbacks has begun crashing mightily upon the shores in National Football League cities such as Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Dallas. And anyone who knows the NFL understands that, without a solid quarterback, your favorite team is simply washed up.
Thanks to last year’s draft class, the Rams, Eagles, and Cowboys are well-positioned for future success. That success may already have arrived, even though Jared Goff, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott are only in their second seasons.
There was plenty of talk prior to the 2016 draft that Goff and Wentz weren’t worthy of being picked first and second in the National Football League Draft.
That talk was wrong. Just as it feels all wrong that Prescott somehow lasted until the fourth round when Dallas finally plucked him.
The Rams took Goff first overall. The Eagles took Wentz second overall.
Look at them now. More importantly, look at their teams.
Led by Wentz, the Eagles are sitting at a league-best 8-1 and the odds-on favorite to win the NFC and make the Super Bowl. Wentz is the frontrunner to be this year’s Most Valuable Player. His 23 touchdown passes – to just five interceptions – has him on pace to break the Eagles’ single-season record for TD passes, which is currently held by Sonny Jurgensen, who tossed 32 back in 1961.
Jurgensen did it in 14 games, but Wentz has five more games to get nine more to do what Jurgensen accomplished.
As for Goff’s Rams, they are sitting pretty at 6-2. He has 13 TDs to four interceptions.
Goff and Wentz became the first two quarterbacks taken first and second overall to throw four touchdown passes on the same weekend, as the Eagles put up 51 against the Denver Broncos and the Rams torched the New York Giants for 51.
There is a good chance the Eagles and Rams could meet in the NFC Championship Game. As it is, the two teams will play meet on Dec. 10 in L.A., a sort of early Christmas gift for NFL fans as they will get a chance to see an offensive showdown between the No. 1 and 2 picks in last year’s draft.
Don’t count out the Cowboys, either. They have already lost to the Rams, but they still play the Eagles twice, beginning on Nov. 19 in Dallas then ending the season on New Year’s Eve in Philly.
It’s not just Goff, Wentz, and Prescott breathing new life into a position that has been dominated for years by the old guard of Super Bowl winners such as Tom Brady, Eli Manning, and Drew Brees.
Houston rookie Deshaun Watson was doing marvelous things for the Texans before tearing an ACL last week. And, while Jameis Winston in Tampa Bay and Marcus Mariota in Tennessee, have yet to live up the billing of being the first and second quarterbacks taken in first and second overall in 2015, they each possess the skill set to take their team a long way at some point over the next 10 years.
This new wave comes along at the right time, given the fact that the careers of such players as Super Bowl winners Tom Brady, Eli Manning, and Ben Roethlisberger are winding down.
Here is a look at the ages of the league’s quarterbacks:
(Age when 2017 season began)
The Old Guard
40: Tom Brady, Patriots
38: Drew Brees, Saints
37: Carson Palmer, Cardinals
36: Eli Manning, Giants
35: Philip Rivers, Chargers; Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers
34: Jay Cutler, Dolphins
33: Aaron Rodgers, Packers; Alex Smith, Chiefs
32: Joe Flacco, Ravens; Matt Ryan, Falcons
Middle of the road (26-30 years old)
29: Sam Bradford, Vikings; Kirk Cousins, Washington; Andy Dalton, Bengals; Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins
28: Cam Newton, Panthers; Tyrod Taylor Bills; Russell Wilson, Seahawks
27: Andrew Luck, Colts
26: Derek Carr, Raiders
The next wave (25 and under)
25: Blake Bortles, Jaguars
24: Carson Wentz, 24, Eagles; Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings; Dak Prescott, Cowboys; Trevor Siemian, Broncos
23: Paxton Lynch, Broncos; Marcus Mariota, Titans; Jameis Winston, Buccaneers
22: Jared Goff, Rams
21: Deshaun Watson, Texans

Severance wraps third straight TAD title

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29, 2017) – Joey Severance swept into his third consecutive NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship by winning the final round of the NHRA Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Each of the Severance championships have come on Goodyear tires. The TAD category is part of the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series for sportsmen teams and Lucas Oil racing is open to competitors among tiremakers.
“Congratulations to Joey and the entire team,” said Goodyear’s Todd Rogers. “They do a tremendous job all season long.”
Severance beat Sean Cowie in an all-Goodyear final round. Of the 16 cars in the starting field, a dozen raced on Goodyear tires.
Asked what the team would do next year Joe Severance, the driver’s father, said, “I don’t know but it will darn sure be on Goodyear tires.”
Justin Lamb captured both the Super Stock championship and the victory in the final at the Strip. Other Goodyear-shod winners included Troy Coughlin in the J&A Services Pro Mod Series, and, in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series for professional teams, Terry McMillen (Top Fuel), Matt Hagan (Funny Car) and Greg Anderson (Pro Stock).
Goodyear employs about 65,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 countries. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.

Lamb wins one title, close to another

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29, 2017) – Justin Lamb has one 2017 NHRA world championship. Now he wants another.
Lamb, a resident of Henderson, Nev., clinched the Super Stock championship during the Toyota Nationals at the Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when he advanced through the early rounds of elimination. That title brought his title count to three, having already won the 2015 Super Stock and 2013 Stock Eliminator championships. He has nearly locked away the 2017 Stock title and can win it at the World Finals at Pomona, Calif. in two weeks.
Through it all, Lamb has raced on Goodyear tires. His tire of choice for the Super Stock car was Goodyear’s D2070 rear drive tire. The D2070 measures 33 inches tall and 14.5 across the tread face. The tire mounts on a 15-inch wheel and the construction includes Goodyear’s D6 tread compound.
“It doesn’t spin,” Lamb said of his rear tires. “They last a long time. It’s just a good, forgiving tire and by that I mean that it works in all track conditions.”
Lamb has used Goodyears since he started racing and credited the tiremaker with playing a key role in his success.
“Goodyear is one of my biggest supporters,” he said. “They’ll do whatever it takes to help.”
Lamb said he started the 2017 season wanting to concentrate on his Super Stock effort. Obviously that plan worked. The Stock effort was different, Lamb said. He said he looked up one day and discovered he had a solid chance to win the Stock title. When he started drag racing, Lamb did not envision winning multiple championships.
“I kind of thought that, maybe, one day I might be able to win one championship,” Lamb said. “I never thought about winning three or four.”
Lamb works for the city of Henderson, Nev., as a business analyst. He and his wife Jeanine have two children, Jayce and Jovi. By the end of the season, each of the young Lambs will have a world championship trophy for each hand.
Goodyear employs about 65,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 countries. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation

Coughlin nabs NHRA Pro Mod title on Goodyears

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (Oct. 29. 2017) – Troy Coughlin Jr. won his third NHRA J&A Services Pro Mod championship Sunday, taking the title on Goodyear tires in a class where competition is open among tiremakers.
“The butterflies, the nervousness at the start of the day, it was pretty emotional,” Coughlin said. “Anytime you have a chance to win a championship is pretty amazing.”
Coughlin qualified fifth out of 26 entries and clinched the championship when he advanced to the semi-final round during eliminations Sunday. Shane Molinari, who also races on Goodyear tires, was the top qualifier.
Coughlin said, “This class is getting tougher and tougher,” and Goodyear’s Todd Rogers agreed.
“Congratulations to Troy and his team,” Rogers said. “They have been great partners all season long in a very competitive class.”
Six of the top ten Pro Mod point-getters raced on Goodyear tires in 2017. They were Coughlin, Molinari, Jonathan Gray, Steven Whiteley, Rickie Smith and Khalid alBalooshi.
Goodyear employs about 65,000 people at manufacturing plants and facilities in 22 countries. Based in Akron, Ohio, Goodyear is among the largest tiremakers in the world and is the worldwide leader in race tire innovation.

Dodgers take game 1 and quickly

For the 1st time since the “70”‘s…. the 2 teams in the Fall Classic had ocer 100 wins…

It may be called “The Fall Classic” but the game time temperatures were anything but fall it was a dry heat of over 100

It was the Clayton Kersahw and Justin Turner show

The Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday took 2 hours, 28 minutes, making it the quickest World Series game since 1992. Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s 11 strikeouts through seven innings of work in a game that featured nine hits by both clubs certainly helped speed things along.

Game 2 tonight 8:09 pm

FTF Top 5/Rick Riggin


Rick Riggin/Official College Football Analyst for The Balance  

The ever evolving, the weekly changing FTF Top 5.  It’s about how you look.  It’s about the eye candy.  You can put any metric on a team’s wins and losses.  Who they’ve beat, who their opponent has beaten and so on…. But it all comes down to how your team looks, and how would your team would do against elite competition on a neutral field.  I feel the “eye test” is the best metric for judging teams.
1. Alabama – This has been the consistent, consensus #1 week in and week out.  There’s really no argument/debate here.
2. Georgia – Now we can have a debate.  Penn State just trashed Michigan at home. Why aren’t they #2?… Because I feel Georgia defensively can contain Saquon Barkley.
3. Penn State – Definitely a Top 5 team, but I need to see them against elite competition before they move to #2.  I’ll get my wish this weekend when they travel to the Horseshoe to play Ohio State.
4. TCU – The Big 12’s only hope as I see it.  Oklahoma hasn’t look that great lately.  TCU is great defensively, and because of that I feel they can play with anybody in the country.
5. Ohio State – Yeah I know Wisconsin is undefeated, but like I said, its “eyeballs” and Ohio State finally looks the part. They got their sh*t together at the right time.  We’ll find out this Saturday, OSU vs PSU.

Letters From The General/Rick Riggin

Letters From The General/Rick Riggin

Dearest Beth,
As our men rested their eyes weary from our travels, a pack of jaguars invaded our camp and massacred our battalion.  I was unable to give warning of the impending danger as I am still hobbled from my battle wounds.  The jaguars were quick and calculated, and able to drag away some of our officers.  Among the missing is young Captain Brissett, Lieutenant Hilton, and Major Gore.  Now as the remaining men tend to the injured and search for the missing, we must plan our approach into Ohio where it is said a pride of tigers awaits.
Love Always

General A. Luck

NFL lack of O heading into Monday night/Ed Kracz

NFL lack of O heading into Monday night
Ed Kracz-Official NFL Contributor for the Balance
@kracze

Maybe Monday night’s primetime NFC East matchup between rivals Philadelphia and Washington will be easier on the eyes than what took place around the National Football League on Sunday.
Don’t look for any offensive short-outs between the Eagles, who are the only team in the league with only one loss at the moment, and the Redskins, who are trying to prevent being swept by the Birds this season after losing the season-opener on their home field back in early September.
At least hope for some offense. That was very much a missing ingredient in Sunday’s full slate of games.
There were six teams who failed to score an offensive touchdown. That’s just simply offensive.
There were another five teams who scored only one touchdown. That’s just mystifying in a day and age where the rules are tailored to encourage points.
The Titans and Browns slogged through 60 minutes of football where neither team was capable of finding the end zone. Tennessee won an all-field-goal game, 12-9. And it took overtime to decide. Fans should demand their money back for having to watch that slop. Of course, Cleveland fans are used to watching such anemic offensive play after failing to draft an NFL-caliber quarterback in forever.
Sunday was no different, with head coach Hue Jackson deciding to start DeShone Kizer again after benching him last week, only to change course during the game, yanking out Kizer for Cody Kessler. The Browns are now 1-22 since trading away the No. 2 pick of the draft last year to the Eagles, who selected quarterback Carson Wentz. There aren’t enough thank-you notes in the world for Philly fans to send Cleveland for that deal.
The Chicago Bears won their second straight game to get to 3-4 and did so with their starting quarterback, rookie Mitchell Trubisky, completing just four passes in seven attempts. The Bears held the ball for just 21 minutes, 25 seconds, gained a paltry total of 153 yards and yet still found a way to beat the Carolina Panthers 17-3.
Three teams had big fat zeroes next to their name – the Colts, Broncos, and Cardinals.
The last time three teams laid goose-eggs on the same day was back in December 2012.
OK, Arizona lost it starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, to a broken arm, and he will miss the next eight weeks at minimum, so maybe they get a pass – no pun intended.
The Broncos need to think about making a quarterback change, before it’s too late. The Broncs are swimming in a sea of mediocrity at 3-3 and Trevor Siemian is at the helm of an offense going nowhere. They have scored 108 points in six games. Only three teams have scored fewer, and, yes, the Browns are one. Denver’s defense is too good to let this season slip through its fingers.
Then there are the Colts, whose offensive line allowed 10 sacks to Jacksonville – or should we say, Sacksonville.
It’s a wonder that Indy QB Jacoby Brissett managed to escape injury. And isn’t that why Brissett is playing quarterback in the first place, because Andrew Luck could not stay healthy behind an offensive line that has more leaks than Donald Trump’s White House?
So cross your fingers and hope the Monday nighter at least delivers some touchdowns, and some drama.

After a bad day of offense, here’s hoping Monday night delivers fireworks

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler (56) sacks Indianapolis Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett (7) during the second half of an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

By Ed Kracz

NFL Contributor

Maybe Monday night’s primetime NFC East matchup between rivals Philadelphia and Washington will be easier on the eyes than what took place around the National Football League on Sunday.

Don’t look for any offensive short-outs between the Eagles, who are the only team in the league with only one loss at the moment, and the Redskins, who are trying to prevent being swept by the Birds this season after losing the season-opener on their home field back in early September.

At least hope for some offense. That was very much a missing ingredient in Sunday’s full slate of games.

There were six teams who failed to score an offensive touchdown. That’s just simply offensive.

There were another five teams who scored only one touchdown. That’s just mystifying in a day and age where the rules are tailored to encourage points.

The Titans and Browns slogged through 60 minutes of football where neither team was capable of finding the end zone. Tennessee won an all-field-goal game, 12-9. And it took overtime to decide. Fans should demand their money back for having to watch that slop. Of course, Cleveland fans are used to watching such anemic offensive play after failing to draft an NFL-caliber quarterback in forever.

Sunday was no different, with head coach Hue Jackson deciding to start DeShone Kizer again after benching him last week, only to change course during the game, yanking out Kizer for Cody Kessler. The Browns are now 1-22 since trading away the No. 2 pick of the draft last year to the Eagles, who selected quarterback Carson Wentz. There aren’t enough thank-you notes in the world for Philly fans to send Cleveland for that deal.

The Chicago Bears won their second straight game to get to 3-4 and did so with their starting quarterback, rookie Mitchell Trubisky, completing just four passes in seven attempts. The Bears held the ball for just 21 minutes, 25 seconds, gained a paltry total of 153 yards and yet still found a way to beat the Carolina Panthers 17-3.

Three teams had big fat zeroes next to their name – the Colts, Broncos, and Cardinals.

The last time three teams laid goose-eggs on the same day was back in December 2012.

OK, Arizona lost it starting quarterback, Carson Palmer, to a broken arm, and he will miss the next eight weeks at minimum, so maybe they get a pass – no pun intended.

The Broncos need to think about making a quarterback change, before it’s too late. The Broncs are swimming in a sea of mediocrity at 3-3 and Trevor Siemian is at the helm of an offense going nowhere. They have scored 108 points in six games. Only three teams have scored fewer, and, yes, the Browns are one. Denver’s defense is too good to let this season slip through its fingers.

Then there are the Colts, whose offensive line allowed 10 sacks to Jacksonville – or should we say, Sacksonville.

It’s a wonder that Indy QB Jacoby Brissett managed to escape injury. And isn’t that why Brissett is playing quarterback in the first place, because Andrew Luck could not stay healthy behind an offensive line that has more leaks than Donald Trump’s White House?

So cross your fingers and hope the Monday nighter at least delivers some touchdowns, and some drama.

 

Lets talk Indy Car

James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens
Schmidt Peterson Motorsports announced its lineup for the 2018 Verizon IndyCar Series season that will feature an all-Canadian driving duo of James Hinchcliffe and Robert Wickens.

Hinchcliffe has renewed his contract with the Indianapolis-based team with a multiyear extension. The five-time race winner and 2016 Indianapolis 500 pole sitter will enter his eighth Verizon IndyCar Series season in 2018 and fourth with SPM.

Wickens joins the team following six successful seasons driving for Mercedes-Benz in the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) series in Europe. Wickens did fill in for Schmidt Peterson Motorsports for a practice day at the KOHLER Grand Prix at Road America in June, when former SPM driver Mikhail Aleshin had visa issues and could not be at the track.

“Not only am I really excited to be able to say I’ll be back with SPM for next year and beyond,” said Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, Ontario, “but I am also really looking forward to being teammates with one of my oldest friends. Robbie and I grew up racing against one another, eventually took different paths – me staying in North America in open-wheel cars and him going off to Europe in sports cars – but it’s pretty neat that we both ended up here and we get to live our dream of being professional racing drivers, together on the same team.”

Hinchcliffe, 30, and Wickens, 28, will form the first all-Canadian full-time team in Indy car racing since 2004 when Paul Tracy and Patrick Carpentier drove for Forsythe Racing in Champ Car.

“This is an entirely new chapter to add to my racing career, and I am really excited for this opportunity that Schmidt Peterson Motorsports has given me,” Wickens said. “I think everyone knows the story by now that James and I grew up racing against one another in go-karts, and to make it to the largest open-wheel racing series in North America together as teammates, it’s crazy to think about.

“I am very thankful for the six years I had with everyone at Mercedes and DTM,” Wickens added. “Those are memories I will cherish forever. I can’t wait to truly see what the Verizon IndyCar Series is all about.”

Wickens won six DTM races in his six seasons, but he cut his teeth in open-wheel racing prior to making the shift to touring cars. The native of Guelph, Ontario, won the Formula BMW USA championship in 2006 and Formula Renault 3.5 title in 2011.

“We’re all very pleased to have Robert on board, and not just because he’s another Canadian,” said Ric Peterson, SPM co-owner and fellow Canadian. “He’s obviously someone who has been on our radar for some time now, and we’re excited about this new chapter in the SPM organization. We’ve been building a lot of momentum within the team and hope this latest addition will be a great next step as we move forward. I’m also really proud that we’ll be able to represent Team Canada and be able to showcase two great Canadian athletes.”

Check out the full schedule right here:

March 11 – Streets of St. Petersburg
April 7 – Phoenix Raceway
April 15 – Streets of Long Beach
April 22 – Barber Motorsports Park
May 12 – Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course
May 27 – Indianapolis 500
June 2-3 – Raceway at Belle Isle Park
June 9 – Texas Motor Speedway
June 24 – Road America
July 8 – Iowa Speedway
July 15 – Streets of Toronto
July 29 – Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
Aug. 19 – Pocono Raceway
Aug. 25 – Gateway Motorsports Park
Sept. 2 – Portland International Raceway
Sept. 16 – Sonoma Raceway

Sources Indy Car
HINCHCLIFFE, WICKENS FORM ALL-CANADIAN LINEUP FOR SCHMIDT PETERSON
By INDYCAR | Published: Oct 18, 2017