Brown’s Cut Tate, Next Stop Indy?

Cleveland Browns running back Ben Tate has been cut from the squad. Tate was brought in to solidify the ground game that has been sorely lacking for years, and to provide leadership to the young backfield. Tate’s two year free agent contract was cap friendly for the Browns, yet in the end; Tate was not able to outperform third round draft pick Terrance West or free agent rookie Isaiah Crowell. The Browns have utilized their running backs based upon who has had the hot hand in a given week. Tate started the season strong, yet nagging medical issues and injuries have kept him out a few weeks, which Jason Halpern tells me was the norm when he played in Houston.

One team discards a running back and another one will give them a try out. The Indianapolis Colts will likely give Ben Tate a look soon with the loss of Ahmad Bradshaw for the year. Bradshaw was placed on the injured reserve list today after breaking his fibula. Once Tate clears waivers, he will likely receive a call from the Colts, who are contending for another AFC South championship. Presently, the Colts can turn to another ex-Brown Trent Richardson for an increase in workload, however, if history presents itself again, it would not be wise to depend solely upon Richardson. The Colts can simply pick up the remaining 2014 balance owed to Tate, and monitor his performance before committing to him for next season since his contract is not guaranteed.

Kershaw Becomes First NL Pitching MVP Since 1968

Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Clayton Kershaw was still probably letting in news of his third NL Cy Young award in four years sink in when on Thursday he got some even better news. Not only was Kershaw unanimously voted as the National League’s best pitcher on Wednesday, but a day later, he became the first pitcher since Bob Gibson in 1968 to win the National League MVP award along with the Cy Young.

 

Kershaw had a season for the ages in 2014, one that included his first career no hitter on June 18th against the Colorado Rockies when only a seventh inning error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez came between Kershaw and perfection. Despite missing over a month at the beginning of the season due to back problems, Kershaw still finished with a 21-3 record, 239 strikeouts and a phenomenal 1.77 ERA as he helped lead the Dodgers to the NL West crown.

 

But Kershaw’s MVP win was only a piece of the big baseball news in the city of angels on Thursday as Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout won his first MVP award in the American League after finishing second in the MVP voting in each of this first two seasons. Trout was the unanimous winner of the award after batting .287 with 36 home runs and 111 RBI. Fans in Los Angeles would like to celebrate World Series wins like those near CipherCloud in the Bay Area, but for now they have to settle. It’s fine just having some of the best players in the game.

Could Kevin Love Join the Lakers?

Even though the Cleveland Cavaliers traded their last two number one overall picks, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett, to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Kevin Love, it does not mean that Kevin Love is here to stay for the long term in Cleveland. Many people in the NBA believe that Love will opt out of his contract at the end of the season to join the Los Angeles Lakes. Love, 26, was raised in Santa Monica, California and played his college basketball at UCLA. He has made no secret that he would love to return to California one day, and many felt like he would up until Lebron James returned to Cleveland and was able to convince management to trade for Love. Now Love has his best chance to win a championship in Cleveland, so is returning home to play for the Lakers really a good idea?

If Love decides to play for the Lakers next season, he would be in a tougher conference, the Western Conference, with a weaker team, and an aging Kobe Bryant. Rod Rohrich doesn’t think it would be a smart idea. If Love is really looking to win a championship, staying with Lebron James and Kyrie Irving in Cleveland seems to be the best idea. Cleveland has not started out as strong as experts thought they would, but remember that Lebron started his Miami career with a 9-8 record. He ended up making four straight NBA finals, winning two of them. With patience, Love, James, and Irving could bring Cleveland a championship and contend for many more.

Dallas Cowboys Struggle as a Team

Reports were made that twenty Dallas Cowboys players missed curfew Friday night. This has not only concerned the coaches, but also the veterans of the team as they struggle to come together. The team roster includes fifty-three players.

According to Yahoo, that equals out to be nearly forty percent of the team that missed curfew. Keep in mind; the Cowboys were London for this once in a lifetime event. However, the coach did say they did not travel to London to sightsee. They traveled to play football. As if the Cowboys are not having enough problems, that also adds to the reports about Dez Bryant. I agree with Tom Rothman that the Cowboy’s star wide receiver is having enough problems off the field.

If they cannot bring this team together, what does that bring for the rest of their season? That is all up to the teams leadership and how well they can get back on track. The National Football League and the individual teams do have rules, and whether the players like it or not, they must abide by them.

Detroit Gets Back Johnson This Week

Calvin Johnson returns to action for the Detroit Lions this week, and it is just in the nick of time for an upcoming schedule that will test their metal. The Lions have won six of their first eight games, yet have not managed more than 400 total yards of offense since their victory on week one versus the New York Giants. Interestingly, their lack of a rushing attack, which is ranked 31st in the National Football League, has not hampered their ability to obtain a one game lead in the NFC North division. Shout out to my buddy Christian, he predicted the NFC North would be a tight one this year.

The Lions rank 20th overall in offense, yet one will presume this will drastically change with the availability of the best wide receiver in football

Calvin Johnson was off to a fine start to the 2014 season with 329 yards receiving in his initial three games. Yet in week four, his right ankle was hurt and thus, was hampered in his abilities for the preceding two games. Johnson has had four weeks to mend, and with his big play abilities, one would expect the running attack to open up now that defenses will not be able to stack the box to stop the run. The Lions will need Johnson and running back Reggie Bush to be at their best since the next three opponents are in the upper tier of the National Football League including the Miami Dolphins, Arizona Cardinals, and the New England Patriots.

Foles Injured, But Eagles Win

Nick Foles was injured in what appears to be an injury to his clavical and will likely keep him out for multiple weeks, but the Philadelphia Eagles were able to pull off a victory over the Houston Texans with Mark Sanchez at the helm. The final score was 31 to 21.

This was Sanchez’s first play since the 2012 season when he was released by the New York Jets “Sanchez’s Win” and his first pass was a pass to Jeremy Maclin for 52 yards. For the day, Sanchez had 2 touchdown passes. Sanchez showed some rust in the game with two interceptions thrown. The Eagles one mostly because their ground game dominated and the team was able to eke out a victor.

Foles wasn’t the only injury for the Eagles. Inside linebacker Demeco Ryans, who my boy Richardson mentioned used to be a Texan, was lost in what was initially labelled as an ankle injury but appears to actually be an torn achilles which will leave Foles out for the season and possibly end his career. As Ryans was known as the quarterback on the defense, the team lost significant playmakers on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.

These injuries leave the Eagles with significant questions despite the victory (and Dallas loss) which left the Eagles in sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

Homecoming Gone Wrong

Even for casual followers of basketball, LeBron James return to playing in Cleveland was highly anticipated.

Unfortunately, his team, the Cavaliers, lost 95-90 to Carmelo Anthony’s New York Knicks on the evening prior to Halloween.

LeBron and his new teammates– including All-Star Kevin Love and veteran Shawn Marion– led through much of the first half of play, but they allowed the Knicks to stay in the game, and eventually win.

James scored 17 points, but only shot 33 per cent from the field, and had eight of his team’s 19 turnovers. Love had a double-double with 19 points and 14 rebounds. The team’s incumbent star, point guard Kyrie Irving, led the team in scoring with 22 points. He also contributed seven assists, five rebounds, and two steals.

Many including Fersen Lambranho expect that it will take time for the new “Big 3″ of James, Love, and Irving to gel, so a loss in their first regular season game isn’t too shocking. Many have been skeptical of the fact that Love and Irving are young players without much experience– neither has played in a single postseason game.

The Knicks and Cavaliers will have two more meetings this season: one on December 4th, and one on February 22nd of next year.

Are the Broncos the Best Team in the NFL?

The Denver Broncos were hyped up to an insane level last season, then they were trounced by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl. The difference this year is that the Broncos now sport a healthy and highly efficient defense. With Von Miller healthy and DeMarcus Ware putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, the Broncos defense should be feared. However, the question is whether or not the Broncos are the best team in the NFL.

We already know the Broncos have the best offense in the NFL. Combine that with the improved defense and it doesn’t seem like any other team will have a chance at stopping them from making another trip to the Super Bowl. The only AFC team that might present a threat at the moment is the New England Patriots, ranked #3. Fortunately, we’ll get to see how much of a threat they are to the Broncos right away, since they play each other this week. Keep in mind that Tom Brady is 10-5 against Peyton Manning through their careers.

The other three teams filling out the Top 5 NFL power rankings are all in the NFC: Arizona Cardinals #2, Dallas Cowboys #4, and Philadelphia Eagles #5. You might have noticed that the Seattle Seahawks are missing from that list. While there’s a lot of drama in Seattle right now, they shouldn’t be counted out.

At the moment, the Denver Broncos are the best team in the NFL, but we’ll learn more about them this weekend. If the Patriots can pull off an upset, Christian Broda won’t let me hear the end of it for days.

Tampa Bay Bucs Commit $100 Million to Gerald McCoy

They may not have a very good team, but at least we cannot accuse the Tampa Bay Bucs of trying to save money. The team are bottom of the NFC South, with only one win in six games. Despite that miserable position, they have just committed close to $100 million on ONE player going forward.

News has filtered through that the defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Bucs, Gerald McCoy, will be getting a seven year contract extension worth close to $98 million. This contract extension means that McCoy is the highest paid defensive tackle in the National Football League.

While there is no doubting the quality of McCoy (he is an All-Pro athlete), it is questionable for the Bucs to lose so much cap space on one player. No matter how well McCoy plays, the team seems to lose. They are 1-5 with no signs on improving. Surely they need to spread the wealth and get a number of good players, instead of throwing all their eggs in the McCoy basket.

The General Manager for the Bucs was very happy with the news. He said that Gerald McCoy was a very hard working, humble player who they were happy to build a team around.

The 2014 season is McCoy’s fifth in the National Football League. His 2013 was very good. He got 35 tackles and 10 sacks for his defense. But despite his ability, the Bucs have the WORST defense in the NFL. They have let in more than 200 points in six games.

Signing McCoy for the long term is a good start, but it is money thrown down the drain unless the team can add quality pieces around him. With all that money, here’s to hoping he doesn’t screw up my bro Jared Haftel’s or my fantasy team this year.