With two weeks in the books, NFL football is officially in full swing, and we can make some more meaningful judgements than after just a single game. Here’s what I noticed this week:
Finally, we are just one day away from the NFL’s main offseason event. Fans’ hopes are as high as they get, speculations continue to swirl, and those that are fortunate enough to have tickets are preparing to let their boos be heard when Roger Goodell takes the stage. For this mock draft, we are assuming no trades are made, and each team makes their own pick.
The Internet was set ablaze last night when news broke that the Philadelphia Eagles and the Buffalo Bills agreed in principle on a trade that would send the 2013 rushing champion LeSean McCoy to Buffalo in exchange for 2013’s third leading tackler Kiko Alonso. Many were shocked to see the Eagles part ways with their most productive player on offense, who has rushed for over 1,000 yards four out of the last five seasons, for a linebacker coming off an ACL tear. Before writing this trade off as a complete disaster for the Eagles, let’s take a look at the evidence.
Through the first half of the NFL season, the Philadelphia Eagles were one of the best teams in the league. After eight games, the Eagles find themselves atop the NFC East with a record of 6-2 and legitimate hopes of making a playoff run. Their high-powered offense, orchestrated by Chip Kelly, is largely responsible for their hot start: Philadelphia’s fast-paced offense, which runs the 2nd-most plays per game in the NFL, ranks 4th in points per game (29.2), yards per game (409.2), and first downs per game (23). Nick Foles has carried the workload for the Eagles’ offense, as he ranks 3rd in pass attempts per game (38.9). However, Foles suffered a broken collarbone this past Sunday and is expected to miss anywhere from 6 to 8 weeks. In steps Mark Sanchez – yes, the same Mark Sanchez that we last saw sliding into his own o’lineman’s butt. Sanchez came in mid game last Sunday and actually performed fairly well, going 15-22 for 202 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions with one of those interceptions taking an unlucky bounce off an Eagles receiver. With eight games left on Philadelphia’s regular season schedule, the question is how much trouble the Eagles are in with the man formerly known as The Sanchize at quarterback.
It has been said recently that the NBA has never been stronger than it is right now, and it really is true. The NBA is all over the sports news, currently dominating the news cycle on ESPN, getting more airtime than America’s pastime, the MLB. Franchise values are skyrocketing and the league recently turned down a prospective owner who wanted to pay a billion dollars for the Kings, over $300 million more than they was valued at before the bidding war began. The league has two extremely marketable superstars in Kevin Durant and LeBron James, who by all accounts are not only phenomenal basketball players, but also good citizens.
The NBA is an interesting test case because of the idea of parity in sports. With the NBA, you can pick 8 teams at the beginning of the season and you will have a 90% chance of getting the correct champion. Don’t believe me? Check this out.