The Scores Report - /cd6 The National Sports Blog Mon, 28 Jan 2019 22:06:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 NFL riding high heading into Super Bowl weekend- /cd6/2019/01/28/nfl-riding-high-heading-into-super-bowl-weekend/ /cd6/2019/01/28/nfl-riding-high-heading-into-super-bowl-weekend/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2019 22:06:55 +0000 /cd6/?p=65350

Is everyone over those stories about the NFL being in decline? Sure, they had some serious controversies last year with the protests, and the NBA was on fire with the Cavs – Warriors battles. College football also created quite a buzz with their new playoff as well starting in 2014.

But suddenly we’ve seen the ratings do a u-turn. NFL ratings are back up again this year, while the NBA is suddenly dipping as the Lebron James versus the Warriors story starts to get old. Superteams are good for a sport . . . but only for a while. Aren’t you sick of the Warriors stockpiling all stars? Meanwhile, the College Football Playoff has lost a little of its luster with Alabama and Clemson being annual locks to play in the final four.

The NFL’s continued dominance extends to gambling as well. As anyone interested in gambling on sports knows, sports gambling begins and ends with NFL football. Of course college football is up there as well, and the NBA draws lots of interest, but nothing matches up to the NFL. And of course, nothing comes close to the Super Bowl.

Also, don’t let the controversy surrounding last week’s Los Angeles Rams victory over the New Orleans Saints distract you. As you can see from the video above, people keep talking about it, but the bigger story is how the NFL had two overtime games last weekend and blew out the TV ratings. The matchup of Tom Brady versus Kansas City Chiefs starter Patrick Mahomes last week helped make it the second-most watched AFC Championship Game in 42 years!

Of course the NFL needs to clean up the officiating, but that won’t stop most people from watching. The NBA has the same issue – did you see how the Warriors seemingly got every call versus the Rockets and the Cavs? As if they need the help . . .

Stars drive ratings, which then drive revenues. The NBA has always known this, but they have an issue now with all these super teams. Meanwhile, the NFL is flooded with talented and charismatic young quarterbacks ready to take the mantle from Tom Brady.

We can start with Jared Goff who has a chance in the Super Bowl to knock off Brady. Then you have Andrew Luck who is still young and has rejuvenated his career. The you have Mahomes, Baker Mayfield, DeShaun Watson, Carson Wentz and Sam Darnold. So many good, young quarterbacks, and so many potential rivalries.

The NFL’s Los Angeles project has also paid off nicely. Two years after getting two teams back into the country’s second-largest TV market, you have the Chargers making the playoffs and the Rams getting to the Super Bowl. Can things get any better for the NFL?

Of course, it will help if the Super Bowl doesn’t turn on a bad call. The anger from the Saints will linger in the offseason, and the issue of replay will be hotly debated. But this side issue will become a huge problem if we see the same incompetence in the Super Bowl. So while the NFL is riding high again, you can never be too comfortable!

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Can Jarod Goff lead the Rams to a Super Bowl win over the Patriots?- /cd6/2019/01/28/can-jarod-goff-lead-the-rams-to-a-super-bowl-win-over-the-patriots/ /cd6/2019/01/28/can-jarod-goff-lead-the-rams-to-a-super-bowl-win-over-the-patriots/#comments Mon, 28 Jan 2019 21:03:33 +0000 /cd6/?p=65345

After a miserable rookie season under Jeff Fisher where he threw more interceptions than touchdowns, few would have predicted that Jared Goff would be a starting quarterback in the Super Bowl just two years later. Instead, many were tossing around the “bust” term.

Things certainly changed once Sean McVay took over the Rams and quickly resurrected Goff’s career and reputation with his innovative offensive schemes. This past season Goff completed 64.9% of his passes for 4,688 yards, 32 touchdowns and just 12 interceptions.

Yet while those numbers are impressive, even in this pass-happy modern era, his performance down the stretch last week against the Saints may be even more impressive. While many remember the bad call that Saints fans are screaming about, it should be noted that Goff outplayed Drew Brees at the end of that game. Goff made several clutch throws while under pressure to save key drives. This is critical as we’ve seen Goff wilt under pressure at times, particularly in the game versus the Chicago Bears. But he didn’t fold after that lousy performance, and now he has a shot to beat the legendary Tom Brady.

If you’ve been following Super Bowl betting information, you know that early money went heavy on the Patriots to push the line up a point to Patriots -2.5 or -3. It’s not surprising when you consider the experience of Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots in light of the youth of Goff and McVay.

Goff has certainly said all the right things leading up to the game. He comes across as very mature for his age, and that approach is critical to success on the big stage. Frankly, it’s similar to what we saw from Brady when he won his first Super Bowl in his second season against Kurt Warner and the heavily favored Rams. Now Brady is the very old veteran. But as Goff points out, his matchup is up against the Patriots defense, not Brady. If he can keep that approach he will be served well.

McVay’s play calling will be critical. The Patriots are excellent at game planning, and we’ve seen them easily handle both the Chargers and the Chiefs in the first halves leading up to the Super Bowl. The Rams can’t afford to wait till halftime to make adjustments. They need to have a solid game plan that gets their young quarterback going early in the game. Much will depend on whether the Rams can continue to impose their will on the defense through the use of the running game. That of course then triggers play action and gives Goff much easier throws for completions. The Rams have to avoid the scenario in the Bears game where Goff was a sitting duck for a fierce pass rush.

Playing in the dome in Atlanta should help. Goff was clearly affected by the cold weather in Chicago. The perfect atmosphere of the dome gives the young Goff one less thing to worry about. That’s one main reason I won’t be surprised if Goff and the Rams fins a way to pull this one out.

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Patriots settle in as a slight favorite over the Rams- /cd6/2019/01/26/patriots-settle-in-as-a-slight-favorite-over-the-rams/ /cd6/2019/01/26/patriots-settle-in-as-a-slight-favorite-over-the-rams/#comments Sat, 26 Jan 2019 16:31:09 +0000 /cd6/?p=65341

We’ve seen this movie before. For a generation, NFL fans have grown accustomed now to seeing Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and some version of the New England Patriots find their way into the Super Bowl. They’re also usually favorites as well apart from their first appearance where they were huge underdogs against . . . the St. Louis Rams. This year they’ll face the now Los Angeles Rams led by young coaching phenom Sean McVay and young quarterback Jared Goff. The bet365 soccercurrent line has the Patriots favored by 2.5 points, which has grown from a slightly smaller opening spread and money jumped on the Patriots.

There will be tons of interest in Super Bowl bets leading up to the game next weekend. For many, it’s hard to bet against Brady and the Pats. Brady’s performance in Super Bowls has been legendary as he has racked up a 5-3 record in these games, including the spectacular comeback from a 28-3 deficit against the Falcons several years ago. Even last year’s loss against the Eagles came down to the wire. Last week he led an epic drive in overtime to send home Pat Mahomes and the Chiefs. Still, at the age of 41, Brady probably can’t do everything he used to as consistently, and Belichick has made it a point to use the running game with Sony Michel, Rex Burkhead and James White to provide a balanced offense to take the pressure off Brady. This will be critical against the Rams pass rush led by Aaron Donald. The Pats can’t let him tee off on Brady as pressure is the one element that can foil the Pats (and most other teams).

Another important storyline involves Rams running back Todd Gurley who discusses the game in the video above. Gurley is back in Georgia for the game, hence the Bulldogs sweatshirt, and he’s obviously hoping to get his groove back for the Super Bowl. Gurley has been dominant most of the season, helping to drive one of the best offenses in football. Lately he’s been slowed by injuries and played poorly against the Saints, but the Rams have struck gold with their late-season pickup of CJ Anderson who has been a force in the running game. The Rams offense is truly scary when they can run the ball, as they showed several weeks ago in completely dominating the Cowboys. Against the Saints, Anderson picked up the slack and played the majority of the game with Gurley being ineffective. If Gurley can return to form, he plus the powerful Anderson can be keys to a potential Rams victory.

Many will focus on Brady and Goff when evaluating this matchup, but it may come down to which team can effectively run the ball. Both running games are impressive, and the Rams in particular can be a handful if both Gurley and Anderson are gaining yards.

As for coaching, we definitely have two of the game’s best. Belichick is arguably the greatest coach of all time, and we’ve seen how he’s molded the Patriots into a team that can adapt from week to week to take advantage of the weaknesses of the opponent. Belichick knows how to play the odds and he’s ruthless about it. The he has Brady to work his magic when needed. McVay has shown he can adapt as well, and it will be fascinating to see this chess match unfold.

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Richard Jefferson looks back at 2016 title run with the Cavs- /cd6/2019/01/17/richard-jefferson-looks-back-at-2016-title-run-with-the-cavs/ /cd6/2019/01/17/richard-jefferson-looks-back-at-2016-title-run-with-the-cavs/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:17:12 +0000 /cd6/?p=65337

This article from Richard Jefferson in the Players Tribune is amazing. His account of the 2016 championship run with the Cavs beating the Warriors after falling behind 3-1 in the series is fascinating. This quote sums it up nicely:

Some titles##. they just mean more than other titles. That*s just the truth. I know it. You know it. Golden State knows it.

And Cleveland definitely knows it.

Some titles mean the world.

We agree :)

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Top 5 MLB free agents in 2019- /cd6/2019/01/17/top-5-mlb-free-agents-in-2019/ /cd6/2019/01/17/top-5-mlb-free-agents-in-2019/#comments Thu, 17 Jan 2019 14:08:37 +0000 /cd6/?p=65333

The Major League Baseball offseason is in full-swing. Spring training games will begin on February 21st just weeks after teams report for camp. The 2019 MLB free agent list may not have a long list of notable names as in years past, but it does feature two of the most intimidating hitters in the game. MLB viewers can wager on their favourite teams with online sports betting all year long and never miss a pitch. With weeks to go until the start of spring training 2019, these 5 MLB free agents are the top players still on the market.

Manny Machado 每 3B/SS

Manny Machado joined the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 18th of last season. The Baltimore Orioles, knowing Machado would be a free agent in 2019, moved him to the Dodgers for five players. The Dodgers basically gave up a number of future and MLB quality players to get Machado for a half season and the chance to sign him long-term. Although he helped the Dodgers make the World Series, Machado failed to step-up on the big stage. He hit just .182 in the World Series. Still, teams are salivating at Machado*s potential. Whichever team signs him, it will pay through the teeth.

Possible teams: New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies

Bryce Harper 每 OF

Bryce Harper was the player the Washington Nationals built around for so many years. Despite the Nationals* great regular season play, they could never win when it counted in the postseason. Harper*s 2018 saw him hit just .249, his second lowest batting average of his career. Despite striking out 169 times (a career high), Harper hit 34 home runs and knocked in 100 RBI (also a career high).

Possible teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Washington Nationals

Craig Kimbrel 每 Pitcher

Craig Kimbrel is the type of relief pitcher ever MLB team needs and that is why he will get top dollar in 2019. Kimbrel recorded 42 saves for the Boston Red Sox last season. He struggled briefly in the playoffs before coming good in the World Series. MLB insiders expect Kimbrel to get a very generous deal in the region of four years and $60 million.

Possible teams: Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs

Dallas Keuchel 每 Pitcher

Dallas Keuchel had a poor season for the Houston Astros in 2018. He posted just a 12-11 record, but that isn*t putting off teams from signing the left-handed pitcher. Keuchel won the Cy Young Award in 2015 with 20 wins. However, his last three years have paled in comparison. MLB teams covet quality left-handed pitchers and Keuchel*s past will influence teams to bid for his services.

Possible teams: Washington Nationals, New York Yankees

Adam Ottavino 每 Pitcher

Last season saw relief pitcher Adam Ottavino finally rebound from his 2015 Tommy John surgery. Ottavino posted a .243 ERA and pitched in a career high 75 games. He recorded a 6-4 record along with six saves in 77.2 innings pitched. Ottavino is a strong right-handed pitcher that several teams are after. A three-year, $27m deal is a realistic contract for the former Colorado Rockies player.

Possible teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Oakland A*s

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Charles Barkley is a cool dude- /cd6/2018/12/15/charles-barkley-is-a-cool-dude/ /cd6/2018/12/15/charles-barkley-is-a-cool-dude/#comments Sat, 15 Dec 2018 14:35:43 +0000 /cd6/?p=65329 Read this heartwarming story about friendship.

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Most sports talk is garbage- /cd6/2018/12/10/most-sports-talk-is-garbage/ /cd6/2018/12/10/most-sports-talk-is-garbage/#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2018 17:15:11 +0000 /cd6/?p=65326 See below for the latest example:

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