NBA Load management needs to be addressed

The term “load management” has been a highly debated topic for quite some time in the NBA. Players taking time off to make sure that they’re not “too exhausted” or too worn down, come playoff time. Maybe they might have a small minor injury, and they’re sitting, or they don’t want to play back-to-back games because they don’t want to.

These are things that I absolutely never saw growing up watching the game. 
And I do mean ever. It was a badge of honor for a player to play the full season, players wanted to play the full season. It wasn’t reckless, it wasn’t stupid, they’re getting paid to play a basketball game for the entire season, so they’re expected to play the entire season. They loved playing the game, including playing through minor injuries. Why wouldn’t they play? They’re getting paid loads of money to play a game that they played for free the vast majority of their lives. 

Load management seemed to really start in San Antonio years ago when Greg Popovich would start sitting his stars. It seemed a lot of the excuses then were that they were older, and wanted them to be fresh later in the season, in the playoffs. And we all know that sports is a copycat profession, where if something is effective for one, other teams will try it too. 
And here we are.

In this day and age of entitlement and softness, it’s not completely shocking to see star players just sitting around on the bench watching, almost like they’re the Varsity guys on the team, coming to watch the JV squad. One of the things that really breaks down is a lot of this shows no competitive spirit, no pride, and no desire to fight. These star players all want max deals and play part-time, it’s ridiculous. 

Now there’s mumblings about lowering the regular season from 82 to 60 games. The basketball season is a long season, you have to be durable, you have to have a drive  and you have to stay competitive for the whole season. The guys back in the ’60s, 70s and 80s never cried about load management. 
What is going on?

These guys are getting paid millions of dollars to play a game and have fun doing it. They need to just be good employees and go to work, which means playing basketball. “Going to work” means many different things to the vast majority of people. These players are in a very fortunate situation to be paid a lot of money to go play a game. They need to be grateful, and go do their “job” and be the VegasTopDog for their team and the fans.

Not to mention the fact that fans paid good money to go and watch these guys play. They are the reason why these guys are getting the paychecks that they get, because of the fans. And when someone goes to watch their favorite player and he’s just sitting on the bench, because he’s a little too “tuckered out” to play back-to-back games, as a 27-year-old in his prime athlete, that’s not right, nobody’s going to tell me that it’s okay. 

Something needs to be done about this. Maybe pay players by the game. Have an agreed upon salary and then divide it out amongst the number of games in the season. If they sit out, they lose money, that’s common math. You play for pay. 

It all comes back to work ethic, that’s the truth. It just seems they don’t want to give 100% effort anymore. Karl Malone played 82 games on 10 different occasions in his career, John Stockton never missed – Reggie Miller played 80+ games in a season on 10 occasions in his career. 

Just sitting out was absolutely never an option for these guys. They wanted to go out and compete. They wanted to go out and play. Go figure.

Can Luka and Kyrie succeed in Dallas

The Brooklyn Nets traded their star PG Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks for SG Spencer Dinwiddie, SF Dorian Finney-Smith, along with a 1st round & a couple 2nd round picks.  Putting Dinwiddie back in Brooklyn again, where he played for 5 previous seasons, where he was respected and played well, putting up 14ppg and 5apg while there. So the Mavs went and grabbed another superstar, to add to the team who should bring immediate help to their team. It looks to be a step in the right direction. Personally, I felt the Mavericks really needed a center. But they grabbed PG Kyrie Irving instead, showing that Dallas is obviously thinking about this season. They made their big move and made it count, adding a career 23ppg in Kyrie to their backcourt.

Kyrie has certainly had his history of problems. Brooklyn almost had to trade him, with the problems that he brought, as Irving, most recently, blasted his team, the entire franchise and the Brooklyn fans. He did not have a smooth playing career while playing with the Nets over just 3.5 years playing in Brooklyn. He screamed about a trade, now has gone to a lehit championship contender with a potential MVP on it and he has a legit chance. He couldn’t possibly ask for more in his situation. Of course, we have seen blockbuster trades in the past like this that destroy a team’s chemistry and actually makes the team worse. Can this be another?

Luka has been the whole offense for Dallas, averaging 33 ppg and 8 apg, while taking 27% of the team’s shots. This trade takes pressure off of him, as Kyrie can do more than his share of damage to defenses – and this should stop the defense from double teaming him as much, because there’s another serious scoring threat on the court. I think Kyrie can play the PG more, while Luke slides in at more SG. And it could be much more dangerous now to just focus on Luka when there is someone added to the team that has more than the capability to light up a team on any given night.

GMs should take chemistry into consideration when building a team. Now, I don’t hate this trade – but it is a bit risky. It’s really easy to see these two struggling to coexist on the court, as they both play best with the ball in their hands, that has been the way they are most effective. But, Kyrie is not just a spot up shooter, he can shoot off catch and shoot well, and he’s also really exceptional off the dribble. In contrast – Lebron is a ball dominant player as well, and Kyrie and him worked in Cleveland because Kyrie was able to work off the ball. In 2015, Kyrie still averaged 20ppg, which went up to 27 /game in the Finals. Maybe people choose to forget that stuff to fit their narrative. With this trade, Luka can now focus on playing more SG while Kyrie plays more PG, or they can switch things up between them to be a favorite for the NBA Playoffs.

The Mavs offense is off whatever Luka sets up, he will now be expected to share the ball with Kyrie. Luka is not used to playing much without the ball, he always has the ball in his hands, he has always been the focal point of their offense. Which is why Kyrie will have to adapt to him, on his team. As good as Kyrie is, and regardless of his pouting and eccentricities – he is a very good player, I just don’t know how I would feel about having his attitude in the organization. Many are concerned that the “Kyrie drama” will creep in by the beginning of next season. You never seem to know when he’s gonna go off the deep end. If he can keep it together, and they learn how to coexist – Dallas definitely just became a top contender in the West, possibly for the next several years. I just think if Dallas could’ve gotten a legit big who could score and rebound they would have made a better move for the odds on Vegas favorite.

Who will be the Top NFL QB over the next 5 years

The NFL is filled with a whole load of great talent, and a bunch of really good young playing right now. We know the QB position is the ultimate position to have in the game today, especially with the style that the game is played right now. We will take a look at some of the best QBs playing right now, who are young and look to have the best future of the QBs today.

Joe Burrow; 
Watching Joe Burrow play behind that horrific offensive line and still having the success that he did is really something special. Out of all the quarterbacks that threw 30 TD passes or more, no other quarterback has been sacked more than Joe Burrow, who was sacked 117 times already, which comes to 39 sacks / season for the 26 year old QB. This is a guy who was constantly in jeopardy of being drilled in the backfield on virtually every pass play, yet still puts up 282 YPG and 68% passing completion /year. And on top of that, Joe doesn’t nearly have the feet that Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes have, he’s not stuck in cement, but teams aren’t concerned he’s going to bolt off for a 50-yard run when things go awry. It looks as if the game is already slowing down for him as he improved greatly from his first year where he still looked pretty solid where he is now already. 

Josh Allen; 
The 6-5 quarterback from Buffalo is one of the more exciting players in the NFL today. Not only does he have the build, he’s also very likable, and he has an incredible skill set. He’s a risk-taker, so he’s not afraid to sling the ball downfield; he isn’t afraid to take big chances. And his ability to be able to run when things fall apart has been obvious with his 36 rushing touchdowns since 2018, this guy knows how to move the chains, as he has picked up 5.7 /carry over his career. When he was a rookie he overthrew his guys too much, and he went down field too often as well, but he has greatly improved in both aspects of his game. This is a guy with awesome pure skill and an amazing future ahead of him.

Patrick Mahomes.
So I feel that Patrick Mahomes it’s kind of behind the eight-ball here, the reason being, because he’s the oldest of the QBs we’re discussing as he is sitting at 27 years old, he has 5 years playing behind him already. We know what he’s done over the last 5 years he hasn’t changed much, you know what you’re getting. You’re getting a quarterback with great accuracy, a huge arm, and the ability to make some insane throws that many other quarterbacks would dream of throwing. I just don’t think that in another 5 years he’s going to change much more than what we already have on the field. We know who Patrick Mahomes is. 
In 5 years Mahomes will be 32 years old. He’s going to be pretty awesome, still. 

Justin Herbert; 
Another stud quarterback who is only 24 years old, has shown signs of becoming a monster for the NFL to deal with for many many years. Already with 12,689 yards passing and 89 TD passes in just 3 years, Herbert has shown a great improvement in decision-making, as his pass completion percentage has always been good, hitting the 66% mark over the last 3 seasons. 
He doesn’t throw a lot of interceptions for the amount of passes that he throws, as he is only thrown interceptions 1.8% of the time and considered one of the VegasTopDogs

Granted, there are a lot of young quarterbacks who are very good. Dak is good, Kyler Murray can also play very well, but I just don’t know if they are going to be at these guys’ levels in another 5 years. These are the 3 that I think have the biggest chance to be the best in 5 years. Any one of these guys you can’t go wrong with, they all have exceptional quarterback ability and very bright futures in the NFL.

Who do you think will be the king of the mountain in 5 years?

How concerned should the Chicago White Sox be?

Regardless of what team you’re on, or what team you’re rooting for, every team in Major League Baseball goes through a rough patch. Whether you want to call it a losing streak, skid, it’s all the same. The team is struggling and they’re losing spots in their division and some fans are losing confidence. There’s a lot of different factors that go into a team when it’s going through a rough patch. Maybe they played some hot teams with some really heavy bats, maybe they dealt with some pitchers who were really into their groove, maybe it was just some upsets, there’s a lot of moving parts and why a team can be struggling.

Coming into the season after winning 93 games last year Chicago was easily the favorite to win the AL Central division again, at this point though, it looks as if they’re doing everything they can to lose the division. The White Sox didn’t expect to be behind in their divisional race this year. But, they are, and it’s time for them to play like defending division champions.

They’ve given up some games they should’ve won. Their ability to score runs has been less than acceptable this year, last year, they ended the season in 7th in runs scored – this year they are bumbling along in 27th place. Yasmani Grandal has been incredibly off this season so far, but we’re still only 56 games into the year. We’re talking about a guy that is usually going to bat around .245 – so his average right now of .175 is well below his usual. I have a hard time believing that his average is not going to end up far higher than where it is now.

We all know the Chicago offense and how good it can be. With Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson in their lineup they are always dangerous, the team is loaded with stars that can hit at a top level. But with the team leaders at just 7 home runs on the season, they don’t have any bat that shakes the cleats of any pitcher.

They do have some decent pitching on the team putting them at 6th in the majors for K’s. But, still their pitching has not been quite as reliable as it was last year, where they ended up at 5th in ERA. This year they have a 4.03 ERA, putting them 19th. But I still think that Dylan Cease has another level, and I think that Lucas Giolito brings a really good pitcher to this team as well. So I definitely think that once those  guys get themselves readjusted, both of them can win games for Chicago.

They do have some upcoming games against the Texas Rangers and the Tigers, in their division whom they should roll, and then they also have some games vs Baltimore, all series they should gain ground. But they also have an upcoming tough gauntlet coming up, vs the Houston Astros, and vs the Blue Jays. There’s going to be a lot learned in that stretch. One thing for sure, the Chi-Sox need to play better than they have been, to regain the  ground they lost so far this year.

Why Nikola Jokic is the NBA MVP this year

There’s a lot of speculation at this point of the NBA season as to who is going to be the most valuable player for 2022.
We have Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has been spectacular for the Bucks with his 30ppg, 12rpg, and 6apg. And then we have the big man Joel Embiid who has been a truly dominant Force for the Philadelphia 76ers with his 30ppg, 12rpg, and 4apg. We obviously can’t forget about the defending MVP in Nikola Jokic, and what he has done with the Denver Nuggets this year, his numbers are actually better than they were last year when he won the MVP at 26ppg, 11rpg and 8apg. This year he had wrecked teams for 27ppg, 14rpg, along with 8apg. And then we have the underdog in Ja Morant, the 22 year-old, who has brought his game to another level this year, as well as bringing his team, the Memphis Grizzlies, to another level as well.

While it’s no easy task to choose who you think should win, and quite honestly you can make a case for any one of these guys to win it and I don’t think that anybody would complain. The fact that Jokic has completely shouldered this team even throughout issues with losing fellow 20 point scorer, Jamal Murray, this year speaks volumes. Jokic is a better rebounder than Embiid, and although “The Greek Freak” has good vision, he is still a better passer than Antetokounmpo. Nikola Jokic has been the best player in the NBA, plain and simple. He brings a slick old school style to the game that is a genuine treat to watch on the court, he is big at 7-0, but still has exceptional vision to make  pinpoint dimes. He is a player that makes me shake my head with at least one play every game.

Jokic has pushed his team as one of the best teams to come out of the West this year, as of this article, they are 46-32 and fighting still for the 4th slot, behind the Mavs and the Utah Jazz. He has shown not only the ability to score buckets, grab rebounds, and shoot incredibly well, but knowing how to lead his team and make the big plays when this team needed it when they struggled.

The Joker has clearly been the best player in the league this year, his numbers have been outstanding, and he’s done it completely on his shoulders, and still has his team in 6th place in the West. Losing a 20-point scorer like Jamal Murray and then just picking it up, and still pushing your team the way he has, is an incredible feat for anyone to do. Especially as every team they play knows the offense is going directly through him.

Although there are many players who definitely deserve to be in consideration for the most valuable player of their team this year, Jokic is the MVP and the one who deserves it.


Every August I present a list of CFB teams who have underperformed in the previous season and are expected to BOUNCE BACK BIG in the current campaign. In the past, these teams have had an extraordinary history of success both SU and ATS.

Florida State

None of the perennial Top 10 teams has taken a more precipitous dip than these Seminoles. After 42 consecutive winning seasons, Florida State has been on the losing side of the ledger 3 years. The first two were under Willie Taggart (11-14 SU, 8-14 ATS) who returned from Oregon claiming this was his dream job. It turned out to be a nightmare. Last year, Mike Norvell, the highly successful Memphis mentor, including 12-2 SU in 2019, was brought in to clean up the mess. But it all “broke bad”. The ‘Noles dipped to 3-6 SU, being outscore 36-26 including the month of November when they lost by 32 to Louisville, 24 to Pitt, and 16 to NC State.
This season, I am expecting big things from FSU on both sides of the ball. They got a major transfer in QB McKenzie Milton who was cleared to play after a brutal right knee injury resulted in months in a wheel chair and on crutches.
Expect improvement in the defense as well as DC Fuller, who has now been with Norvell for 3 years, has plenty of talent with which to work. Their season opener vs. Notre Dame will likely tell you all you need to know.


After winning the National Title in 2019, it was easy to predict the Tigers fall from grace to 5-5 SU, 6-4 ATS last year when they returned just 8 starters and had numerous star players opt for the NFL. Forced to play a number of young players who gained instant experience, now returning 17 starters, this team will join the many who expect the Tigers to BOUNCE BACK BIG in 2021. Much may depend on how well these Cats assimilate the new ways of OC Peetz and new DC Jones, each of whom has outstanding credentials.
With plenty of talent and depth, this team will be tough to beat. When they come as underdog be sure to note the success of HC ED Orgeron who has a lifetime record of 25-14 ATS in that role including 9-0 ATS in his 4 years at LSU as road dog.

Penn State

Much like our opinion on LSU, we will put the Nittany Lions on our Bounce Back list. Now his 8th year HC Franklin grew tighter each week, the Lions slipped to 0-5 SU, ATS including a loss (by 16 points) as 27 point home chalk to Maryland. It seems to be said Franklin is a great recruiter but can’t coach his way out of a wet paper bag.
Maybe one should have seen that coming when the Lions were 0-14 Net portal transfers last season. Maybe there is a further signal to be found in the fact 10 more players opted out at the close of 2020.

Nonetheless, credit must be given to Franklin and the Lions for finishing the year 4-0 SU, ATS even though it was against Michigan, Rutgers, Michigan State and Illinois ALL OF WHOM HAD LOSING RECORDS. The numbers certainly did not support the 4-5 SU, ATS record as they outgained their opponents, on average, 430-329 YPG. A -10 Net TO margin and some questionable officiating contributed to their downer year with with turnovers and poor clock management. With QB Clifford returning, a total of 16 returning starters and both coordinators enlisted, I must agree with the bounce back season. WE ARE!

Written by Mike Anthony for

Will Jayson Tatum be a Hall of Famer

At just 23 years old, it can be hard to say what someone’s professional basketball career will unfold like. There are a lot of really good young players in the NBA. Some who can score the ball, some that make plays. Some that have been something special since they arrived. Jayson Tatum has been both for Boston.

It looks that Tatum has all of the necessary tools to be a Hall of Fame inductee when he is done playing the game. With 25ppg, 7rpg, 4apg, and a deadly accurate shot – he is easily becoming one of the best young players in the game currently. Looking at Hall of Fame players like Adrian Dantley, James Worthy, and Clyde Drexler – his kind of numbers are very comparable to them all. Dirk Nowitzki had peaked at 23.4ppg in his first 4 years, which puts the 6-8 SF ahead of him, with his 25.2 / game average. Kobe Bryant tallied only one season hitting better than 37% from behind the arc in his 4 early years – Tatum already has 2 seasons hitting 40% or higher in his 4 seasons playing. I am also willing to assume he will likely eclipse many other numbers within the first 8-10 years in. He has been nothing but excellent for Boston.

Tatum doesn’t benefit from having some imposing massive figure, which means he never gets an easy matchup. But that hasn’t hurt his awesome game production. Some guys become overnight sensations after just a handful of decent games.
How is that possible? Tatum has been more than rock solid every night. We need more people really understanding what makes players really great. Tatum has been more than decent over his years, and his wonderful production has been steadily climbing since 2018. Tatum has the masterful scoring ability and the supreme confidence that so many others want to have. As long as the 210lb natural scorer keeps his head straight, and keeps putting up the numbers like he has, the HOF will be proudly displaying his bust someday. Tatum has been responsible for the C’s winning 61% of their games since he arrived. If the 23 year old keeps up his current pace for 10+ years, he can end up looking at being in the top forwards in the annals of NBA history.

Barring some crazy downfall, or injury – I don’t think there are too many who can’t see Tatum as a great player with the Boston Celtics is an absolute Hall of Famer.

Christian McCaffrey the best all purpose RB in the NFL

Without Christian McCaffrey – the Carolina Panthers are a pretty average and far less dangerous team to watch on a Sunday. The Panthers need him…big time. The only RB who can compete with McCaffrey in the backfield is the Vikings RB, Dalvin Cook. McCaffrey has been absolutely outstanding – and can make plays on his own, even if their big men up front aren’t playing as good as they normally can. We can see what 23 year old RB has done with a good Oline this year, in particular. The Panthers offensive line has been pretty solid for the season – and seems to have even gotten a little better. McCaffrey is more than just an amazing scat back – he can run between the tackles, run to the outside, run hitch routes and screens. He has proven to have the ability to be able to take on a full season as a RB1 – and I don’t think many ever though he would be a top 5 RB in carries or rushing yards. But here we are – sitting at 3rd in carries, and 2nd in yards.
McCaffrey has also faced his share of loaded boxes – and has still produced a league leading 12 rushing TDs and 1167 rushing YDs. When he joined the team in 2017 – he immediately showed his great all around RB ability with 80 catches and 1086 yards from scrimmage. As we all know that durability is definitely important, and McCaffrey has been that as well. His explosion this season verifies something very good for Carolina and Carolina Panthers fans. The one season in 2017 when he didn’t have 1000 YDs in rushing – he only got around 7 carries/game and was really used as a gimmick and was doing the majority of his damage as a receiver. It is extremely hard and very difficult to consistently run for 100+ YDs in a game when defenses are stacking up the box – because they want to contain a dangerous weapon like Christian McCaffrey. Yet he has still been running for 97 YPG, and has six 100+ yard games this season, out of 12 games played. That is absolutely ridiculous – and if we include games for combined total yards – his number goes to 10 games of 100+ YDs.
The Panthers running game is all on Christian McCaffrey – as there is no other RB on the team that can hold the team together with his vision and calm to get to his holes. D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel are legitimate targets for the Panthers QBs to get the ball to – but McCaffrey is the one who the team looks to move the ball when needed. Christian McCaffrey is the one defense are most concerned about on gameday – and is impressing everyone with his dual threat ability and 75 catches. McCaffrey has a different style than big name guys like Ezekiel Elliot or 11 TD rusher, Derrick Henry – they are both built on brute strength – RBs that blow a LB over and rip off 40+ yards to a TD. Christian is more of a take your ankles and juke out anyone else who’s in front of him. Dalvin Cook has that kind of finesse as well, but CMC leans to that kind of ball play even more – with his quickness he has had since his days playing in college at Stanford.
It is often thought by many in this generation is that in the modern era – a RB isn’t the one who is going to carry a team to the SuperBowl.
And that QBs do.
I disagree.
QBs are obviously a very large part of things – but having that lithe RB who can break a back and take off with the 15 yard run on 3rd and 2 when things are winding down or when you need that big 1st down is crucial. They are the oil to the machine.
McCaffrey blocks and catches as well as any back in the league – he is the most complete package. He has shown his full potential this year with 5 YPC, 16 combined TDs, and an awesome, league leading 1811 yards from scrimmage – we can say I full confidence, he is the best RB right now. He has been the heart and focal point of the Carolina Panthers team and rightfully doesnt look to be slowing down at any time soon.

Does Odell Beckham change the AFC North

The Browns were the laughing stock for the last several seasons, especially from 2015-2017, where they only won 4 games total, before their 7 wins in 2018. This year, even after their lackluster start thus far – seem poised to be on the hyped train in the AFC North, by many. I never thought I would see the day, after having 7+ Wins in a season only 2 times since 2003, not counting 2018.
The OBJ move made the Browns the talk of the football world this off-season – the Giants weren’t winning with him, even with his 88 YPG. The Browns are hoping they found a winner.
Questions are still there – Beckham has known to be a problem, at times – will he destroy Baker’s team?
Is Odell a team player?
Will the Browns regret this move after a season?
All these things we should be asking – and only time will tell.
But, if we are going to be honest, Eli didn’t utilize Beckham for what he could have done with him. The Giants were wasting OBJ’s skills – Eli Manning is an aging, soft armed QB, who at times, chucked the ball in his direction, with desperation – and I feel Beckham made Eli far more than Eli making Beckham better. Just a few years ago, Derek Carr was thought of as the next big thing for the NFL – now, Baker Mayfield is looked at as the next big thing after his 64% completion rate and 27 TD passing season in 2018 and they got him a great new toy. The Browns gave up a 1st & 3rd for OBJ, for Mayfield to have an top 5 weapon at WR – with this, they are looked at by many as the team in the AFC North.
The Browns needed something big and the Giants needed picks to start the much needed rebuild, so this worked out for both teams. As we know, teams that look great on paper don’t always translate to success on the field. Look at the 2015 Detroit Lions coming off an 11-5 season in 2014 and the thoughts of a team on the rise, or the “Dream Team” 2011 Philadelphia Eagles – both flopped. The other concern I have with the Browns, is they could run into issues with Beckham and his temper tantrums, Odell seems to be happy as long as he gets the ball – that has to be put on the backburner here. There are a lot of skilled players who need the ball. Beckham is your typical diva WR – which can be a bit tough to swallow at times –  but there is no discussion that his on field ability isn’t incredible. 5400+ YDs, 390 receptions, and 44 TDs over the previous 5 seasons certainly confirms that.
Cleveland is looking stacked across the board, between defense and offense. Mayfield, Landry, OBJ, and David Njoku – they have a ton of promise this year. They looked awful vs the Titans – giving up 43 and turning the ball over as Mayfield didn’t look very sharp – but I think a lot of the problems they had – were based on the expectations that have been tossed onto their shoulders. Nick Chubb is a really good RB too – a new face of the North might be built for the next 5 years, the Browns, could be running the AFC for years to come. We all know, regardless of what we want to pretend, QB is the position on the field – it is the engine that drives the train, and is the most important position on the field. 24 year old, Baker Mayfield has changed the attitude of Cleveland and their city. Baker needs to make sure he keeps OBJ on the same page as the team, as a whole, he brought heart and hope in 2018 – he has been unimpressive so far this year with his timing and throwing 3 picks – and he needs to get himself in check if they want to get the train rolling.
Cleveland could still be the favorite – with no Leveon or AB in Pittsburgh, and no pressure behind Lamar Jackson, to keep him motivated to better himself, if he fails. Beckham has a better QB in Baker than what NY had – so it’s honestly a big upgrade for Beckham – with the moves they made this offseason – the Browns may have become the team to beat in the AFC North.
The Browns now have 2 of the best handed WRs in the league along with a talented TE – with a deadly deep threat in OBJ and smooth route running WR Landry, they now have the skills to be most dangerous duo in the NFL. The Browns made some noise with the offseason. Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham are probably some of the most sure handed WRs in the league, as both players have made numerous big time catches during their 5 years in the NFL – Jarvis and Odell were amazing together at LSU back in 2011- 2013, with 280 receptions 4,149 YDs, and 27 TDs combined between them. It will be fun to see how they do teamed up in Cleveland.

The NFL MVP Race

There are 3 real front-runners in the NFL for league MVP right now. There is Patrick Mahomes, and his ridiculous ability on the field, Todd Gurley getting an incredible amount of touches and scoring ability out of the backfield. And, of course, Drew Brees and his mind blowing play so far are the elite top players playing right now in the league. Let’s take a snapshot of where these players stand in the race. VTD’s big-3 in the NFL MVP race. This is a fun time to examine who the top leaders for the MVP award are, and then see if they can maintain their daunting play throughout to hold onto that prestigious award.
Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
This season, Mahomes has gone beyond nuclear putting up 41 TDs, and a whopping 327 YDs per game. And the 23 year old QB has also not been afraid to push the ball with a 9.3 YPA. The Mahomes-led Chiefs are in strong position right now looking at the playoffs, at 10-2, and tops in the AFC West division. Last year, they fought through the season and ended up with a 10-6 record. The cannon armed slinger has gripped the reigns and led the Chiefs to a top spot at this point in the season, making them a potential favorite in the AFC. Their team has been ravaged by off the field issues and they have below average production from their defense, as they have had almost no positive contribution from their D – yet here they are, still fully in charge. And that is on Mahomes’ shoulders.
Mahomes has been shining like a diamond in every aspect of the passing game. If you think about what Mahomes could be going forward, after having a full season under his belt, you realize it’s not crazy to think he has a chance to become one of the best QBs in the league for many, many years to come. It looks like Mahomes is going to crush KC records with ease, but he could become the first Chief to win the MVP award.
Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
The consistent brilliance of Drew Brees sticks out like a sore thumb. His passing performances this 2018 season have been nothing but spectacular to watch play out. The competition for the MVP award includes fellow QB, Patrick Mahomes, of Kansas City, who is by far the most outstanding QB under 24, so far this season. And he too, easily, belongs in the MVP discussion, in the constant, age old battle of young vs old, past vs present.
But, here we are, 12 games in, and the guy who started the season white hot, by not throwing a pick over the first 6 games – has continued his dominance, and has pushed the Saints to the next level this year leading them to a 10-2 record. Brees leads the NFL in QB rating, and while having thrown just 3 ints, and is the genuine centerpiece of the unstoppable Saints offense. And for the 39 year old QB, Drew Brees, what else is new?  Brees has taken the Saints and has carried the lions share of the load of the teams offense – that hasn’t put up a bad version of offense, except for their recent 13-10 loss to Dallas. It’s just astounding to think about Drew Brees ending the NFL season with possibly 34-35 TDs along with a 75%+ completion percentage – but I think he is going to do it. Brees can pass the ball with the best, and always has been able to with his ability to never panic and his quick arm.
Todd Gurley, RB, LA Rams
The talent and high ceiling for Gurley have never been in question. The arguments for Gurley includes his athletic skills and also how incredibly valuable he’s been to the Rams with his ability to slice open an opponent pretty much anywhere from the field. And the Rams feel comfortable putting him anywhere on the field for them, behind the QB, split him out, toss him in the slot. He is a devastating weapon for HC Sean McVay.
Gurley is chasing some bigtime goals, his on field ability is never in question, so a 25 total TD, or another 2000+ total yard season is not out of the question. Gurley has had 8 games running for a TD for the Rams and that’s his mastery, including 5 games of 2 TDs or more – but he has a ton of skills away from just running the ball – his pass catching is awesome as well, as he is 3rd on the team, as a RB. It opens up the teams method of attack, and uses his speed and his vision for him to use his football IQ on how to attack what he sees in front of him. His individual brilliance running the ball is even better with his partnership with the Rams WRs, who have been nothing but astounding, as well. Gurley is hands down, one of the best players who also happens to be on one of the best teams in the league.
Drew Brees is still showing the rest of the NFL who is the top of the crop and DBs have been on high alert all season. He’s kept the Saints alive with his cunning eyes and QB trickery, he has been phenomenal. Drew Brees is just amazing, as he precisely demolishes teams weekly, giving the Saints constant hope, keeping teams never feeling safe on the field when he is out there. He almost has come out of nowhere, after last seasons pedestrian season, when some were thinking he was starting to fade – he came back this year, and has played out of his mind, with heart and precision. Oh, and he also has 30 TD passes with just 3 interceptions.
There are some big games to go in this season still, of course, but seasons like this, when such great individual play, reminds us, as fans, of just how entertaining and unpredictable the NFL can be. No one thought Drew Brees would still be slinging the ball quite the way he has…still.
But, here we are, with Drew as the likely NFL MVP.