Manchester City wasn't their usual dominant selves, finishing with 81 points in the Premier League. However, the Sky Blues were overshadowed by Liverpool's historic run to their first Premier League title. Is this the end for the Cityzens? What does Manchester City need to do to get back to the top?
It's been a while since the Chicago White Sox made the playoffs. In fact, they haven't been to the postseason since 2008. Having watched the Chicago Cubs, their north-side rival, have all the success in recent memory, the White Sox were fed up and decided to do something about it. Low and behold, the White Sox lead the AL Central and are poised to make the playoffs.
The White Sox are the top batting team in all of baseball, leading the majors in batting average (.270). Led by Tim Anderson (.343 BA, .997 OPS) and Jose Abreu (.312 BA, 12 homers, 30 RBIs, .997 OPS), the White Sox are utilizing Guaranteed Rate Field as a hitter's park to their advantage. Eloy Jimenez (.303 BA, 11 homers, 26 RBIs, .958 OPS) and Luis Robert (eight homers, 19 RBIs, .902 OPS), there is no shortage on the White Sox's offensive power.
Chicago also has an excellent one-two combo to front their rotation. Lucas Giolito (who just threw a no-hitter against Pittsburgh) and Dallas Keuchel (2.70 ERA, 1.04 WHIP), Chicago has a formidable front of the rotation that should be a threat in the playoffs. The team's ERA (3.75, seventh in the majors) shows it.
The AL Central actually looks competitive this season. With the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins, Chicago White Sox and even the Detroit Tigers (!), it should make for an exciting pennant race. The White Sox are hoping they'll come out on top.
The Red Devils managed to finish third in the Premier League with 66 points. However, there are underlying questions that Manchester United needs answers for. How will they address them? What must they do to return to glory?
After lowered expectations from a tsunami of bad news, the Blues managed to grab 66 points behind the emergence of wunderkind Christian Pulisic. What must Chelsea do to climb to the top of the Premier League once again?
Leicester City had a strong season, finishing with 62 points en route to the Europa League. What must they do to get to the Champions League and perhaps beyond?
Welcome to another edition of Nostalgia Game Review, where I showcase old-school games and see if they're worth the time to play now. This edition will cover Pokemon Puzzle Challenge for the Game Boy Color.
Initially released on September 21, 2000, Pokemon Puzzle Challenge was developed by Intelligent Systems. It is based on the popular Japanese game, Panel de Pon, only featuring Pokemon characters based on the Gold and Silver games. The premise is simple: Beat the gym leaders and Elite Four in a Panel de Pon format. There are other modes such as time attack and a marathon mode.
I am not much of a Panel de Pon player, but I can tell you this game is fun. The harder modes can be a challenge, with your opponents dropping bricks on you. Still, the game can be fun as you have to accomplish certain feats to unlock different characters. The music also ramps up, making for an intense fight as you try and vanquish your opponent.
If you have played Tetris Attack or even Panel de Pon before, this is the game for you. Pokemon Puzzle Challenge is a nice test on the go for any puzzle connoisseur. Get yourself a Game Boy Color and pick up Pokemon Puzzle Challenge.
Despite making the Europa League, the Spurs underachieved, finishing with 59 points in the Premier League. What must they do to get to the Champions League?
Despite finishing seventh in the Premier League, Wolverhampton missed out on the opportunity to make the Europa League. It was still a solid year for the Wanderers, finishing with a 15-14-9 record and a goal differential of +11. What must the Wanderers do to get better and possibly make the Europa League (or even the Champions League)?
Now we get into the meaty part of the checklists. Despite an underwhelming eighth place finish in the Premier League, Arsenal somehow managed to make it into the Europa League. They managed to win the FA Cup to secure their Europa spot. What must they do to get back to prominence?
Hint: It's not Detroit, Carolina, or the Washington "Football Team". Still, there are plenty of teams that are vying for NFC supremacy this season. Who are these teams that are shooting for the top?
Let's start with the NFC champions themselves, the San Francisco 49ers. They might've dealt DeForest Buckner to Indianapolis, but Buckner was a significant cap hit. Besides, George Kittle wouldn't have gotten a contract extension with Buckner's contract in the way. To replace Buckner, the 49ers drafted Javon Kinlaw from South Carolina. San Francisco also acquired offensive tackle Trent WIlliams from Washington, ensuring that Jimmy Garappolo gets better protection this season.
There are other teams vying for the top of the NFC. Minnesota still has a loaded offense even with Stefon Diggs out of town. Minnesota also has a stellar defense with Anthony Barr leading the way. There's also New Orleans, who has Michael Thomas as a dangerous offensive weapon. Thomas is terrific at creating mismatches and breaking for the open field, giving Brees a formidable target. However, New Orleans must overcome all excuses and better themselves for the upcoming season. Their Super Bowl window is closing with every passing second.
Green Bay has Aaron Rodgers, who's still learning the ins and outs of Matt LaFleur's offense. The Dallas Cowboys just added numerous receivers to give Dak Prescott weapons. However, they still haven't inked Dak to a new deal yet. Is Jerry Jones pulling a Dan Snyder here and slapping Dak Prescott with franchise tags the way Snyder did with Kirk Cousins? The Eagles just added Marquise Goodwin to bolster their receivers and Darius Slay to bolster their secondary.
You also know about Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski going to Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers have been irrelevant for so long that they had to make a splashy move. What better way to do that than to grab the six-time Super Bowl champion? Brady should find success with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin? Plus, Bruce Arians is the master of routes and Brady should have an easier time with Arians at the helm.
However, the team that will rule the roost in the NFC this season is Seattle. You know about Russell Wilson, but you should know about Seattle's rushing attack. Wilson can run the ball on his own when he needs to, but the Seahawks have plenty of viable running backs. Chris Carson (1,230 rushing yards last season) and have a great second option in Rashaad Penny. But that's not the only reason why Seattle will win the NFC.
Adding Jamal Adams to the secondary will help Seattle immensely. The All-Pro safety had a frustrating time in New York with the Jets and should thrive in Seattle. Granted, there are a few things that need to improve for Seattle, i.e. their pass rush. The Seahawks must do a better job at getting to the quarterback. This unit underachieved greatly and that's what cost them. But if the Seahawks can get that reined in, watch for the Seahawks to possibly win it all this season.
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