NFL Prediction Time!

NFL Prediction Time!

Here comes an attempt to guess the correct standings for the National Football League, which will get underway this week. I’ll also give a shot at guessing team records, which will basically be a massive failure, but hey, why not give it a shot? (* denotes a playoff team)

nfl2AFC East:

  1. *New England Patriots (12-4)
  2. Miami Dolphins (8-8)
  3. New York Jets (7-9)
  4. Buffalo Bills (4-12)

Is anybody choosing a team other than the Patriots to win this division, which is possibly the worst in football? When the main competition is quarterbacked by guys like Ryan Tannenhill, Geno Smith, and EJ Manuel, they kind of seem like a lock. Brady did a lot with little last year, and they seem to be better off this year. 

 

nfl3AFC North:

  1. *Pittsburgh Steelers (9-7)
  2. *Cincinnati Bengals (9-7)
  3. Baltimore Ravens (8-8)
  4. Cleveland Browns (2-14)

Kind of a toss up for me between the top 3 teams here. The Bengals have their moments, to be sure, but I will go with the Steelers, after a couple of down seasons, but their lofty standards. Give the Bengals a wild card berth. 

 

AFC South:

  1. *Indianapolis Colts (11-5)
  2. Tennessee Titans (8-8)
  3. Jacksonville Jaguars (6-10)
  4. Houston Texans (5-11)

The Colts are the cream of the crop here. A lot of experts are picking bigger things from the Titans this year, but I am definitely not sold on Jake Locker picking up his game that much, and I think there are questions on their O-line. 

 

AFC West:

  1. *Denver Broncos (13-3)
  2. *San Diego Chargers (10-6)
  3. Kansas City Chiefs (7-9)
  4. Oakland Raiders (5-11)

The Broncos are the pick for one more year, barring any type of injury to Peyton Manning. The Chargers got the offense rolling last year, and they should be able to overcome a questionable D to get the wild card.

 

NFC East:

  1. *Dallas Cowboys (9-7)
  2. Philadelphia Eagles (8-8)
  3. Washington Redskins (7-9)
  4. New York Giants (5-11)

Ugh. This division is pretty ugly. Even as absolutely brutal that Dallas D is, they still are the least awful team in this division. The Eagles have potential to be very good, but I think they take a step back this year. 

 

nfl4NFC North:

  1. *Green Bay Packers (12-4)
  2. *Chicago Bears (10-6)
  3. Detroit Lions (7-9)
  4. Minnesota Vikings (7-9)

A healthy Aaron Rogers means a division crown for the Packers. I like the Bears this year too, thinking perpetually that Jay Cutler will figure it out and have a great year at some point.

 

NFC South:

  1. *New Orleans Saints (11-5)
  2. Atlanta Falcons (9-7)
  3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)
  4. Carolina Panthers (6-10)

Big drop for Cam Newton and the Panthers. You need receivers to catch the ball! Saints take it easily, over a couple of teams that are improving, but not there yet. 

 

nfl5NFC West:

  1. *Seattle Seahawks (12-4)
  2. *San Francisco 49ers (11-5)
  3. Arizona Cardinals (8-8)
  4. St. Louis Rams (5-11)

Sorry Rams, but Shaun Hill is not an answer at QB. They needed to address this earlier than after Sam Bradford got injured, which we all kind of knew was going to happen at some point. He has been a band-aid over the past couple seasons. The Champs and the Niners are still among the best teams in the NFC, and the whole league. Seattle is just too silly good at home to not think they will go 8-0 or 7-1 at home again this year. They will take it once again. 

 

Way Too Early Super Bowl Pick:

I’ll go against all the traditions and statistics, and pick the Seahawks to win it all again. If they have home field advantage in the playoffs, they will roll, but I think they are good enough to go into Green Bay, New Orleans, or San Francisco and take a playoff road game. I’ll take them beating the Patriots in the big game. 

Eating Boston: Cask n’ Flagon

Eating Boston: Cask n’ Flagon

Part of the Boston experience is so uniquely intertwined with the Boston Red Sox experience. You need to try and take it all in, in one of the cities that truly is a baseball-first place. In a massive market like Boston, there are plenty of sporting options. The Patriots, Celtics, Bruins, Revolution, all take their draws from the citizens of the city.

But no draw compares to the popularity of the Red Sox.

Based on this, the Fenway area of Boston is one that must be visited when in town. A big part of this, are the sports bars that surround the legendary Fenway Park, the largest being the Cask n’ Flagon.

caskThe Cask n’ Flagon does what sports bars are supposed to do. It offers a wide selection of bar food, and a really strong list of beers to keep you entertained while the game is on the multitude of TVs placed around the bar.

First, a couple of negatives from my trip there.

  • The lines are really long on game days. Be aware of that if you plan to go when the Sox are playing at home. I was there when they were on the road, so it wasn’t an issue.
  • The TVs aren’t as big as they should have, or could have been. For a bar that thrives on sports, there should be some monster screens in there, in my opinion.
  • The staff couldn’t seem to figure out how to get the Red Sox game on. Seriously? The place was packed with people, there specifically to watch the game. And it took them nearly an inning to figure out which channel it was on, and how to get their TVs to the right place.
  • We ordered some wings. They forgot to place that order. After watching tables around us get the food they ordered, and an hour having passed, we finally asked about them. Our waiter was very apologetic, and we did get our wings. On the house. With some extra wings on there. This is excellent service, and they more than corrected their mistake.

Some of the good.

  • They fixed their mistake, and not having to pay for the wings was an added bonus.
  • The wings were actually incredibly delicious and filling.
  • Very good beer selection, especially for a sports bar. And quite reasonably priced.
  • Huge establishment, with tons of seating to help deal with their game day crowds.
  • A fairly attentive staff, definitely friendly.

The Cask n’ Flagon does not merit a special trip or anything, but if you are in the area, it is a good, sports-centric place to pop in for a beer and a snack, maybe before or after a game, or when the Sox are on the road and you want to watch the game surrounded by their fans.