The Super Bowl is only a week away! That means tons of food, pre-game festivities, and plenty of memorable, pricey commercials. But what about the game itself? Here's what you should know about this year's big game.
Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes. It's the instant classic we're getting for Super Bowl 55. The upstart Tampa Bay Buccaneers will take on the defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, in what should be a memorable game. With that, you should know how each team got here. So what road(s) did each team take to make the Super Bowl?
It's too easy. The only things I could say about the Kansas City Chiefs is that their defense is suspect and Andy Reid should be thankful that Patrick Mahomes makes him look like a genius.
Face it. You barely gave a shit about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before Tom Brady came along and brought Rob Gronkowski with him. In fact, the Bucs were hurdling through a space of irrelevance. They last made the playoffs in 2007 when Patrick Mahomes was becoming a teenager. Hell, the Buccaneers were the first team to go winless in a season after the AFL-NFL merger. That's right! The Lions and the Browns weren't the first.
In 1976, Tampa Bay went 0-14. This was also their first season in the league, meaning they didn't get their first franchise win until December 11, 1977. This was their 27th game in franchise history as they beat the New Orleans Saints, 33-14. Their offense was so woeful that they got shut out 11 times in that span. The Bucs didn't even score their first points until Week 3 of the 1976 season. Their first team MVP, Dave Pear, advised the youth to not play football ever. Ouch.
With such a pathetic start, you'd expect this team to fold or relocate after five seasons. The Buccaneers shouldn't even exist. Yet, they're the NFL's resident cockroach. Somehow, they've stuck around and festered around the league. This roster might look good now. But they didn't get to the Super Bowl because of Tom Brady. Even if he is in Tampa Bay, you should still avoid Tampa Bay like the plague because of its past irrelevance.
By bowing out of the playoffs to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 31-26, the Green Bay Packers have lost in the NFC Championship once again. Last year, they got rocked by the San Francisco 49ers when Raheem Mostert ran over the Cheeseheads for over 200 rushing yards. There seems to be a recurring theme here and it stems around their failures to make the Super Bowl in recent years.
This is a similar fate that the Philadelphia Eagles faced in the early 2000's. Losers of three straight NFC championship games, Philadelphia had to wait until the fourth try in that era to make the Super Bowl. They ultimately lost to New England, 24-21, some time before winning their first championship. It seems that the Packers are headed towards that same destiny.
However, there are some differences. For one, Donovan McNabb doesn't hold a candle to Aaron Rodgers. While McNabb is more mobile than Rodgers, he doesn't have the passing prowess that No. 12 does for Green Bay. However, there is some uncertainty with the future of Aaron Rodgers as he calls his future a "beautiful mystery."
There's also a difference in coaching philosophies. Matt LaFleur loves the play action, seeing a renaissance in Green Bay's running game. Andy Reid leans toward college-style offenses. He's embraced a West Coast-style offense, which explains Patrick Mahomes's meteoric rise. Still, McNabb didn't feel like a solid fit in Reid's offense despite his talent. Rodgers doesn't have that problem, which makes this a mystery.
Are the Packers the new-age Philadelphia Eagles? Possibly. All we know is that there's some drama surrounding the Packers right now. This is especially true with Jordan Love waiting in the wings. Where will Rodgers go? Where will the Packers go once he leaves? These are questions that will arise if he eventually leaves. In the meantime, Packer fans will have to deal with possibly being the new green team that falls just short of the Super Bowl each year.
With Larry Scott leaving on June 30th, the search for a new Pac-12 commissioner has begun. The outgoing leader started off his tenure right, scoring a record-setting television deal for the conference. However, that's where the fun stopped. The other Power 5 conferences secured deals of their own and surpassed them in the major sports, basketball and football. With a lack of competition and revenue, the Pac-12 needs a new figure to lead the way. Who should grab the reins once it's all said and done?
Some rumored names to pop up include former XFL commissioner Oliver Luck and Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith. But there's one name that should be considered: Lynn Swann. Swann has plenty of experience in such offices. He was formerly the USC Trojans athletic director from 2016 to 2019. He also served as the Physical Fitness and Sports Council chairman under the Bush administration, launching presidentschallenge.org in 2003. Swann has deep Pac-12 roots that start with his time at USC. Best of all, he's well connected to the football side of business. He's played the game as a Trojan and has even established himself as a legendary Pittsburgh Steeler. If there's anybody that deserves consideration as the new Pac-12 commissioner, it's Lynn Swann.
Over the past few years, Manchester United had become a laughingstock. Mismanagement, bloated contracts, and dysfunction plagued this squad, leaving their return to relevance in question. However, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. The Red Devils are sitting in first place, albeit by two points. Still, it's a sign that the Premier League's premier team is back atop the mountain.
Part of why Manchester United's enjoyed so much success this season is because of their attack. Led by Bruno Fernandes (11 goals, seven assists), the Red Devils have been more aggressive than ever. Marcus Rashford has also helped the cause, adding seven goals and five assists to the tally board. These two have formed a solid duo for Manchester United, putting the rest of the league on notice. David de Gea and Dean Henderson have also been excellent members, contributing 13 clean sheets each.
It seems that the Red Devils are a tough out in the Premier League. But can they stay on top? One tough adversary they'll have to deal with is inner city rival Manchester City. The Citizens have a balanced attack and are especially aggressive on the pitch. It seems that Pep Guardiola's sqaud isn't going anywhere for the time being.
You should also keep an eye on the defending champions. Liverpool might be battered right now. However, they still have plenty of depth to rise. The infamous duo of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah can't be denied, after all.
Manchester United is sitting pretty atop the EPL. It's a long-awaited return that many fans have longed for. It has also eased the questions of knowing what'll happen with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as their manager. Still, the road to the title won't be easy. The Red Devils will have to pull out all the stops to stay there.
We have the final four teams set! What happened in the divisional round? What are some big takeaways from this past weekend's slate of games?
Star quarterback Deshaun Watson has expressed his distaste with the Houston Texans organization, citing dysfunction and a lack of effort on their search for a new general manager. No one can blame Watson, who's been a part of a team that underachieved over the years. Now the trade rumors are swirling and numerous trade packages are being assembled. Where could Watson land and who could be dealt?
When you hear "Pittsburgh Steelers," what's the first thing that comes to mind? Three head coaches since 1969 and legendary players like Troy Polumalu, Jerome Bettis, Terry Bradshaw, and Jack Lambert. You also get a team with a darker side.
For starters, there are countless atrocities committed by this franchise. Whether it's Mike Tomlin tripping opposing players or the occasional player holding out for a better contract, the Steelers have a notorious history underneath it all.
You also have a group of diehard cheaters. According to yourteamcheats.com, Pittsburgh has a cheat score of 44, well above the average score. Aside from Tomlin's "Tripgate", the Steelers have also violated salary cap rules with former lineman Will Wolford. They've also faked injuries in a game (see Emmanuel Sanders) and have administered various PEDs and steroids to their players. For Pittsburgh, winning a football game by literally every means has been their M.O.
I haven't even gotten to Ben Roethlisberger, who looks like the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man who's an NFL quarterback and is excessively horny. This man got into some trouble with sexual assault allegations. You know about the one incident in a women's restroom in a Georgia nightclub. But did you know there was ANOTHER incident, this time in Lake Tahoe? Roethlisberger's the worst. The worst part is Pittsburgh is likely going to bring him back next season, prompting endless amounts of anxiety for Mason Rudolph. Who else would you want leading a one-dimensional offense than the real life Bill Dauterive?
If you're new to the NFL scene, you want to root for the best teams currently in the game. These include the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers. However, there are certain teams you want to avoid for their underlying dealings. That's why you should avoid the Pittsburgh Steelers. You don't want to end up like this guy, do you?
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