Buccaneers

Season Finale - NFL Week 17 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  Todd Gurley is the most important piece in the NFL's highest scoring offense and is a nightmare week to week to gameplan against. He leads the league in yards from scrimmage and TD's. This seems like a no brainer MVP and quite a turnaround story from just a year ago. The culture change that happened with the hiring of Sean McVay has been remarkable, it just goes to show with several top draft picks and an aggressive approach on both offense and defense, a bottom tier team can bounce back fairly quickly. All it takes is some vision, execution, and belief/buy-in from the players. Congrats to the Rams on their 2017 season.

Season Finale - NFL Week 17 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

In The Home Stretch - NFL Week 15 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  Well, I've been saying for the last few weeks that the Patriots and Steelers would come down to who can get home field advantage. In week 14, the Steelers made another furious, 4th quarter comeback with a field goal from Chris Boswell. This is becoming quite a trend the last few weeks.The Patriots however upheld a tradition of shitting the bed in Miami. Jay Cutler looked like the QB every body thought he was ten years ago and Kenyan Drake roasted the Patriots defense with 193 total yards. Not quite what the league was expecting, but that is what happens in the NFL. A week of unexpected outcomes.

In The Home Stretch - NFL Week 15 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Cold Weather Games - NFL Week 14 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  Week 14 is upon us and the December games are in full swing. That means teams that can't play defense, run or at least protect the football, and play on the road are done. This is usually when the Seattle Seahawks and Russell Wilson are at their best. They tend to travel well, they protect the football, and are never out of a game. Their defense has bounced back to be a dominant unit once again, holding the high-flying Eagles to only 10 points was quite an accomplishment, especially considering how well Wentz had the offense humming in recent games. 

Cold Weather Games - NFL Week 14 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Home Field Advantage - NFL Week 13 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  Pittsburgh had their hands full against Green Bay on Sunday Night Football. The Packers, minus Aaron Rodgers, came to play and had the lead for a good portion of this game. Hundley didn't seem scared by the primetime moment and really stepped up to give his team a chance in the game, delivering 3 TDs and 245 yards with no interceptions. As impressive a showing as Green Bay's younger players had, the Steelers still pulled out their 9th win of the season to keep pace with New England. Now onto the picks!

Home Field Advantage - NFL Week 13 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

This Is When The Fun Begins - NFL Week 12 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  It just goes to show that QB play is impossible to predict. The Vikings have spent several first round draft picks to find their QB and Case Keenum has fallen into their laps. A player almost every NFL team could have signed is leading a division leader and a team currently sitting at number 2 in the NFC. So more than anything I think the lesson in today's NFL is, do whatever you must to avoid Sam Bradford as your starting QB! Now onto the picks!

This Is When The Fun Begins - NFL Week 12 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

- NFL Week 11 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

For as long as Drew Brees and Sean Payton have been together in New Orleans, the Saints have been a pass first team that just tries to outscore their opponent. Defense and the ground game usually came off as an afterthought and aspects of the game that just helped give Drew and the offense a rest. All that said, the Saints were one of the most fun teams to watch, especially for fantasy purposes. Every week at least one of their players would go off and have fantasy owners shaking their heads. That fantasy element hasn't changed, now it's just running backs tearing up the league, not wide receivers and gifted tight ends.  

  - NFL Week 11 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Throw The Pre-Season Predictions Out The Window - NFL Week 10 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

I've been holding fast to the preseason predictions hoping they would come true, alas some of them are not. I've been waiting for the Eagles to fall back to earth and each week they soar seemingly higher. They are the owner's of the league's best record at 8-1 after their trouncing of the Denver Broncos at home. The Broncos are in the midst of an identity crisis as a team that wants to run the football and play defense. They don't have the RBs and their defense is faltering after being relied upon solely to win games over the last three seasons. 

Throw The Pre-Season Predictions Out The Window  - NFL Week 10 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Another One Bites The Dust - NFL Week 9 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

As soon as we think we know what to expect in the NFL, the ground underneath us begins to shift and another starting QB for a potential playoff team goes down with an injury. Coming off last week's matchup between Seattle and Houston -- which saw Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson both throw for over 400 yards and 4 TDs -- most people thought a star was being born before our very eyes. The vaunted "Legion of Boom" was exposed and Richard Sherman seemed quite impressed with the rookie QB. Fast forward to this week's slate of games and Deshaun Watson, savior of the Texans is injured and out for the season with a torn ACL.

Another One Bites The Dust  - NFL Week 9 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

If The Season Ended Today... - NFL Week 8 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  Week 8 marks the halfway point of the season for a lot of teams, so that got me thinking "I wonder what the playoff picture looks like"? We've had some teams come out of nowhere and start strong, we've had traditional powers struggle to find their footing, and we've had some surprise teams that are competitive week in and week out even if they don't have a great record...yet.

If The Season Ended Today...  - NFL Week 8 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Last Man Standing - NFL Week 7 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

  This week the players and owners met to have a dialogue surrounding the topic. From all accounts, it was a great clearing of the air and a way for players and owners to discuss their thoughts and concerns face to face to effect positive change. So let's hope that this energy can actually turn into policy and changes that address the concerns of players, owner's words do carry a lot of weight in their hometowns and states. Hopefully they use their considerable clout for good in this scenario.

Last Man Standing - NFL Week 7 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Future League Battles Will Be Waged In Court - NFL Week 6 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Ezekiel Elliott's suspension has one of the most important battles of the season playing out in a Texas courtroom instead of on the field for the Dallas Cowboys. Sadly, this could be the future for a league that has been backed into a corner on a number of thorny issues that will most likely result in even more time in courtrooms across the country. Between all the new data surrounding concussions and teenagers dying from football related head injuries, lawsuits are bound to happen. Players will continue to get arrested, just not at the rate the average fan may believe, and some will appeal the punishment, leading to more time in courtrooms. This is not a good look for the league at a crucial time when ratings are down and some fans are just opting out of it altogether. 

Future League Battles Will Be Waged In Court - NFL Week 6 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

It's Time to Pick a Side - NFL Week 5 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

The NFL season is always fun because you never know what team will come out of nowhere and win their division, conference or even the Super Bowl. That boundless hope mixed with the chaos of NFL injuries, allows every fan to believe that maybe this could be their team's year. This season I think there are a few candidates that could surprise fans and the league on a playoff run deep into January.

It's Time to Pick a Side - NFL Week 5 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

After I Take a Knee, I Stand - NFL Week 4 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

The NFL season is always fun because you never know what team will come out of nowhere and win their division, conference or even the Super Bowl. That boundless hope mixed with the chaos of NFL injuries, allows every fan to believe that maybe this could be their team's year. This season I think there are a few candidates that could surprise fans and the league on a playoff run deep into January.

After I Take a Knee, I Stand - NFL Week 4 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

The Season is Starting to Take Shape -NFL Week 3 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

The NFL season is always fun because you never know what team will come out of nowhere and win their division, conference or even the Super Bowl. That boundless hope mixed with the chaos of NFL injuries, allows every fan to believe that maybe this could be their team's year. This season I think there are a few candidates that could surprise fans and the league on a playoff run deep into January.

The Season is Starting to Take Shape -NFL Week 3 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

Now That We've Worked the Kinks Out -NFL Week 2 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

The NFL season is always fun because you never know what team will come out of nowhere and win their division, conference or even the Super Bowl. That boundless hope mixed with the chaos of NFL injuries, allows every fan to believe that maybe this could be their team's year. This season I think there are a few candidates that could surprise fans and the league on a playoff run deep into January.

Now That We've Worked the Kinks Out -NFL Week 2 - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

NFL Coming Out Party - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC

The NFL season is always fun because you never know what team will come out of nowhere and win their division, conference or even the Super Bowl. That boundless hope mixed with the chaos of NFL injuries, allows every fan to believe that maybe this could be their team's year. This season I think there are a few candidates that could surprise fans and the league on a playoff run deep into January.

NFL Coming Out Party - Justin Rhoades - Raleigh, NC