The AFC East has been ran by the New England Patriots for nearly two decades now. Their dominance has culminated in six super bowl championships, nine conference championships and 16 AFC East titles in the past 19 season including every season since 2009. That’s an amazing streak for a team that has arguably the best football player of all-time in Tom Brady but has gone through plenty of skill players on both sides of the football to surround Brady with.
So what’s up with the rest of the division? Well the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets have all been lacking the two most important things that the Patriots have: Great coaching and consistent quarterback play. The New York Jets even made one the most boneheaded decisions this past offseason in signing Adam Gase as their head coach. It was a retractive move due to the fact that he failed as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, so the Jets know a thing or two about his futility as a coach. The Bills made the playoffs in 2017 after not making the playoffs for 18 full seasons prior to that and what do they do after? Cut starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor who endured a couple of seasons of being on the playoff cusp before pushing them over the edge. We haven’t even discussed the Dolphins big boneheaded move: Trading for QB Josh Rosen. Would I trade draft picks for a former first round quarterback who threw more interceptions than touchdowns and led the worst offense in the league last season? Absolutely not, but I’m not an NFL GM for a reason.
So who is the second best team in the AFC East? We’ll rank the teams from second to worst below.
Make no mistake about the Bills they are a talented team and annually have a top 15 defense. Last year’s number six ranked defense loses longtime defensive tackle Kyle Williams to retirement however they still have enough pieces there to be a top defense especially with the addition of former Houston DT Ed Oliver in the draft. 2018 first round pick Tre White had a great season while being inserted in as the number one cornerback on a team that had a hole to fill after trading Stephon Gilmore to the Patriots (Go figure)
On the offensive side of the ball, second-year pro quarterback Josh Allen is expected to take more command of the offense and be more of an impact player from here on out. LeSean McCoy’s days in the backfield may be numbered as they brought in Frank Gore and drafted David Singletary out of FAU in the draft, so don’t expect a loss of McCoy to slow down what is a top 5 rushing attack in the league.
New York Jets
The Jets have had the best offseason of any team in the AFC East so far with the acquisitions of RB LeVeon Bell, LB C.J. Moseley & DT Quinnen Williams.
The blockbuster trade for Kyrie Irving prior to the 2017 bought a new swagger to the Boston Celtics, who had also acquired Gordon Hayward via free agency. That new swagger was placed on hold after the first game of the 2017-2018 season when Hayward went down with injury and left Irving as the lone superstar amongst a young roster. After all that is what Irving wanted right? He asked for a trade out of Cleveland because he didn’t want to play second fiddle to LeBron James in Cleveland although the Cavaliers appeared in three straight finals.
Kyrie then went down with his own season-ending injury that seemed to shake the Celtics season. However the young Celtics team were able to rally behind veteran Al Horford and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals where they were one game away from defeating LeBron James and setting themselves up with a date with the Golden State Warriors. But this year was supposed to be different because the C’s were getting their leader back in Irving.
Kyrie’s lone full season as the starting point guard for the Celtics was marred with a handful of ups and downs. At the beginning of the season, Boston was playing good basketball, racking up 30 wins in 48 games. Then they sort of hit a wall and dropped to fourth in the conference after being second last season without Irving for the full season. So what happened? Well, Irving’s lack of leadership showed multiple times as he attempted to either play hero ball a bunch or he would alienate his teammates during and after games.
A day after the New York Giants drafted Corey Ballentine in the 6th-round Of The 2019 NFL draft, he was shot in an off-campus shooting that killed his friend and former teammate.
The shooting occurred during an off-campus situation in Topeka, Kansas. Washburn University a division 2 school in Topeka, Kansas confirmed that junior defensive back Dwane Simmons, 23, was killed during the incident. Washburn University also stated that the New York Giants 6th-round pick Corey Ballentine is expected to make a full recovery following the shooting.
The police report stated that officers responded around 12:45 A.M. in response to gunfire. About 4 blocks away from the school’s campus, police found Dwane Simmons lying unresponsive in the middle of the road.
Corey Ballentine who was drafted hours before the incident is very lucky to be alive, as he arrived to the hospital with a non-threatening gunshot wound from the same incident.
The New York Giants have traded star WR to the Cleveland Browns just hours after he said his preferred destinations were the Los Angeles Rams and San Francisco 49ers. The Giants will receive the Browns first and third round picks as well as safety Jabrill Peppers in return.
Beckham’s presence will be greatly appreciated on a Browns team that is actually looking to make deep runs into the playoffs for the near future. The Giants seemed too content in wanting to rebuild their team with a 38 year old quarterback who has regressed every season since 2015 and I don’t blame OBJ for essentially forcing his way out. He now links with upcoming star Baker Mayfield who will be entering his second NFL season as well as bestfriend and fellow wideout Jarvis Landry.
Super Bowl LIII was supposed to be one of the most high scoring affairs ever. After last season’s high flying Super Bowl that featured the Philadelphia Eagles instead of the Los Angeles Rams there was no reason to believe this one wouldn’t be more potent offensively. Wrong. The Rams and New England Patriots combined for just a measly 16 points in the Patriots 13-3 victory.
The first half of this year’s Super Bowl only featured three points between the Rams and New England Patriots. Neither team took a snap in the other team’s red zone while the Pats committed the only turnover on Tom Brady’s first pass attempt of the game. The Rams were only able to muster 52 total yards and two first downs in the half and Todd Gurley was again shunned as he only received three touches (He only had four all of last week). Both team played worse than usual and it led to the 3-0 stalemate that fans were left with at halftime.
The second half began almost no different than the first half as both teams continued to struggle offensively. The Rams added on to a streak they began in the first half as they wound up punting on eight straight possessions through midway of the third quarter. The Patriots ended up with a few first downs in the third quarter but after the quarter the score was just 3-3 as Greg Zuerlein connected on a 53 yard attempt near the end of the third.
It all came down to the fourth quarter in this Super Bowl of defenses as neither team was able to create separation through three quarters. The Patriots were able to finally break through offensively with a one-yard Sony Michel touchdown to make the score 10-3. They coupled that with a Stephon Gilmore interception on the following Rams possession with under five minutes to play in regulation. That interception proved to be the biggest play of the game as Tom Brady and the rest of the offense ran the time down to under two minutes before Stephen Gostkowski put the game away at 13-3.
Super Bowl LIII was Tom Brady’s sixth NFL championship and it was also the Patriots’ 11th appearance in the big game (Third in a row). Their defense held the Rams usually superb offense to just 3 points, 12 first downs and 205 total yards in addition to the 4 sacks they got on Rams QB Jared Goff.
In a season where the Patriots were doubted repeatedly they persevered and showed everyone around the league why they are still the gold standard around the league.
Former football and baseball superstar Bo Jackson has widely been considered one of the greatest athletes to ever live.
His legend began to grow the second he began attending Auburn University and started playing football, amassing 829 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in his freshman year. He then went on to add baseball to his aresenal the following year and he didn’t look back. In 1985, his final season of college football, Bo ran for 1,786 yards and 17 touchdowns en route to the Heisman trophy. He matched that same total of touchdowns in home runs that year om the diamond.
Jackson was selected first overall in the 1986 NFL draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers however he refused to sign his contract due to a previous dispute with the team. Instead, he signed with the Los Angeles Raiders after they drafted him the following season in the 1987 NFL draft. He only played in seven games his rookie year but he managed to rush for 554 yards
The Dallas Mavericks have agreed to trade for New York Knicks forward Kristaps Porzingis.
In all the Mavericks will also receive Courtney Lee and Tim Hardaway Jr while the Knicks will add DeAndre Jordan, Wesley Matthews and Dennis Smith Jr. Sources say that the Mavericks may also send a future first round pick to the Knicks in addition to the players.
Porzingis has yet to play this season due to the tore ACL he suffured last season when he averaged a career high 22.7 points per game.
There is big trouble brewing in New Orleans between the Pelicans and their star forward Anthony Davis. Davis previously requested a trade fr the team and the team recently removed his picture from the team’s home intro video. Is that a sign of something to come?
With all of the uncertainty going on, let’s take a look at the best possible trade scenarios for Anthony Davis.
Los Angeles Lakers get: Anthony Davis, Julius Randle
New Orleans Pelicans get: Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Kyle Kuzma
Houston Rockets get: Anthony Davis, Elfrid Payton
New Orleans Pelicans get: Chris Paul, Ken Faried, Gerald Green
Boston Celtics get: Anthony Davis, E’twaun Moore
New Orleans Pelicans get: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown
Has anyone been keeping up with the NBA? 👀Do not worry we are about to inform you on the New NBA power ranking.
Golden State Warriors
Since the lost against Detroit, the Warriors have been looking unstoppable. They went over to the Staples Center Monday Oct 30th to play the L.A. Clippers, and receive the W. Also, added two more road wins over good Western Conference teams before starting their 4 game home stand. As was the case last season, they’ve been at their best in the third quarter, which they won by a combined score of 77-44 in San Antonio and Denver. The following next games, they won by a combined score of 69-46 at Oracle starting their home stand. Their shooting remains hot while also producing some of the lowest turnover totals of the season.
Kyrie this season has been a major key to their success. Seems like Kyrie eye is on playoffs, and is determined to come out number 1 in the Eastern Conference. Marcus Smart’s shooting remains shaky, but Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum have combined to shoot 30-for-61 from 3-point range over the Celtics’ ten-game winning streak. Al Horford (17-for-29) has shot even better maybe the best in his career, while also anchoring the league’s No. 1 defense. Over the streak, the Celtics have held their opponents to an average of 10.3 fewer points per 100 possessions than their season average.
The Rockets have finally found their offense, which ranks No. 1 in November after they scored 120 points per 100 possessions over a four-game winning streak, highlighted by James Harden’s 56 points (on 19-for-25 shooting) and 13 assists on Sunday against Utah. Despite being the league’s third best defense. After shooting 19 percent from 3-point range in October, Trevor Ariza (10-for-24 in November) has found his shot, and the winning streak actually got started in New York. Harden dropped 31 points to finish off the Knicks. on the bench on Wednesday. With all four of their meetings with the Grizzlies coming before Thanksgiving, game 3 comes Saturday in Houston. The Grizzlies are the only team who held the Rockets under a point per possession this season, and they’ve done it twice.
The offense has struggled as the Grizzlies have lost three of their last four games, with two of the losses vs. Charlotte and Orlando. They have a great start to games, coming in games they led by 13 points. Losses like that have you wondering if you need more talent on the bench, and is it time to make trades before it gets too deep in the season. Tyreke Evans looking like a serious Sixth Man of the Year candidate. He’s averaging 17.1 points shooting 61 percent from the field, having scored 19 or more in five of the last six games. If there was still a “Comeback Player of the Year” award, the Grizzlies would have some serious candidates (all key contributors on the league-best bench): Evans, Mario Chalmers, Chandler Parsons and Brandan Wright.
Last season, the league did Andre Drummond and many other centers a favor by changing away-from-the-ball fouls to the last two minutes of every quarter. It reduced Drummond’s free throw attempts from 7.2 to 4.4 per game. This season, Drummond has been working hard at the line. With a stunning free throw performance, going 14-for-16 in win over Milwaukee. Drummond is shooting 63 percent from the line, up from 38 percent which he has average over his first five seasons in the league. Drummond ranks second in rebounds per game and leads the league in rebounding percentage (for the third straight season), and the Pistons’ remain number 1 in the Eastern Conference with Wednesday’s win over the Pacers. Detroit has won five of its last six games with Anthony Tolliver providing critical minutes off the bench.
The Wolves’ late game success continued with two more narrow escapes in Miami and New Orleans. With their 7-4 record, they still have a negative point differential. But they’ve held three straight opponents under a point per possession, even if those three opponents all rank in the bottom 11 offensively. They’re 7-1 with Jimmy Butler, but didn’t need much offense from him (17 total points on 5-for-13 shooting) in weekend wins over Dallas and Charlotte. Jimmy is averaging 14 points per game, and should be looking to involve him more on offense.
San Antonio Spurs
Their two best offensive performances have come in games in which they’ve assisted on less than half of their buckets, but the Spurs will take the offense any way they can get it as they continue to wait for Kawhi Leonard to make his season debut. Their new starting lineup (with Patty Mills at point guard) has scored 116 points per 100 possessions in its 41 total minutes. Since the lost to the Warriors, the Spurs have went on a 3 game winning streak. San Antonio made a season high 15 3-pointers to beat the Clippers. Looks like the team is finding a rhythm as a whole. The Spurs have still seen the league’s biggest drop in effective field goal percentage (from 52.4 percent last season to 47.9 percent this season).
Portland Trail Blazers
Since blowing a late lead in Utah, the Blazers went on a winning streak. Damian Lillard has found his rhythm and been looking like the point guard we grew to love. After his game-winner against the Lakers and another big shot (and a bunch of free throws) against Oklahoma City on Sunday, Damian Lillard leads the league (by a wide margin) in clutch points, with seven of the Blazers’ 10 games having been within five points in the last five minutes. Lillard has an effective field goal percentage of 44 percent in the first three quarters and 61 percent in the fourth quarter and overtime. Seems like C.J. McCollum slipped into a funk this while Lillard has gotten out, but had a outstanding game against the Grizzlies scoring 36pts despite the 1 point lost. The Blazers are seven games into a stretch where they’re playing 10 of 11 at home.
Despite the loss to Cleveland (seems like all the trash talk was for nothing), John Wall and Bradley Beal been having a phenomenal year so far. Wall is averaging a double-double with 20 points and 10 assist. Also, Beal has been having a career high season averaging 25 points per game. Beal dropped 38 points in Wall’s absence in Toronto last Sunday, and now their two games in their four game home stand against teams with bottom-10 offenses (and records no better than .500), a stretch that should help the numbers of a defense that allowed 126 points per 100 possessions in losses to Phoenix and Cleveland.
The Raptors been having a good season, but a loss to the Wall-less Wizards(with Kyle Lowry being ejected in the second-quarter) could be one that has everyone scratching their heads. That was the worst 3-point shooting night for the league’s worst 3-point shooting team, with this week’s most important game (Sunday in Boston) is against a unstoppable Kyrie Irving. The Celtics have been looking good while Kyrie is on the floor. This will be a great defensive game, and will be interesting to see how the Raptors prepare for Irving and the Celtics.