Thursday, January 30, 2020

NFL Super Bowl LIV prediction! (NFL)

Well, the day of reckoning is soon upon us. The seas will part, the sky will open, and..... hopefully some points will be scored. What? Oh you thought this was something else? Nope, just TTS' prediction for Sunday's SUPER BOWL LIV!

1) The case for Kansas City.

Patrick Mahomes is an extremely dynamic quarterback, and most likely the best in the game right now. He can throw from the side, scramble from the pocket to pick up huge gains with his feet, and toss the long bombs with insane accuracy. Take his weapons into consideration as well (Travis Kelce, et al.), and it's hard to look past this offence at all.

This is also a team that can come from behind and score enough points to put them ahead in the blink of an eye. Head coach Andy Reid has done an amazing job in KC, and looks to win that elusive Lombardi trophy in his second attempt. The main roadblock here is their defence. It's not the most consistent, and has a tendency to dig a deep hole before rebounding.

2) The case for San Francisco.

Mostert, Sherman, Garoppolo, Gould. The 49ers are stacked with talent, have a running game that is second to none, and a head coach in Kyle Shanahan seen as a master strategist that has taken a team that only had a handful of wins last season into a defensive juggernaut that has steamrolled it's way straight into the Super Bowl with Richard Sherman as it's anchor.

Shanahan has shown his ability to adapt from game to game, going from an air attack with Jimmy Garoppolo, to letting Raheem Mostert run wild and grind the game down, eating up clock and yardage at the same time. TE George Kittle has shown he can catch just about anything, and can make the big plays when needed.

3) Analysis.

While the Chiefs might get the opening score and follow up with a quick field goal, expect the 49ers defence to hunker down and start rushing Mahomes, interrupting Mahomes, and sacking Mahomes. The 49ers are also more likely to use Mostert as a mobile battering ram, content to let him hammer through the Chiefs for yardage and points.

Jimmy Garoppolo will make some big throws when necessary, but the ground game is what will count here.

PICK: 49ers


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Monday, January 27, 2020

Collaros signs, Khari snubbed? (CFL)

It seems that even in the off-season, there is never a dull moment in the Canadian Football League. As reported on earlier, Winnipeg Blue Bombers starting quarterback Zach Collaros has re-signed with the Grey Cup champions for two years, giving the team much needed piece of mind at that position. Collaros was traded to the Blue Bombers from the Toronto Argonauts at the deadline last season, and helped the team end a 29-year drought and capture the Grey Cup.

This is also a double-edged sword, as former starting quarterback for the Bombers, Matt Nichols, has been outspoken about this signing taking precedence over his own. This will likely mean the end of Nichols' tenure with the team, and he'll be looking for a new home before the 2020 season starts.

A Khari snub? There is considerable debate on whether or not Alouettes' head coach Khari Jones should have been in the conversation for coach of the year, with many thinking it was a huge sub to not include him in the the running for the annual award. Khari did do an amazing job with a team that has been mired in mediocrity for several seasons, but didn't achieve what Orlondo Steinauer did in Hamilton last season.

If anything, Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea should have been a contender for what he did in Winnipeg, as I don't believe the Stamps' Dickenson warranted being in the mix. It is my opinion that it should have been a three-way battle between Steinauer, O'Shea, and Jones.

Touchdown Atlantic. The CFL is staging another regular season game in Halifax, this time holding a contest between the Toronto Argonauts and Saskatchewan Roughriders at Huskies Stadium, which is located on the campus of St. Mary's University. It's always nice to see a game played out East, but the choice of venue is of concern, mainly because the temporary stadium in Moncton had a higher capacity for CFL games.

Still, it could be fun, providing the Argos are much improved this coming season. If not, it will be a Roughriders team running wild. Only time will tell.

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Friday, January 24, 2020

QUICK SLANTS: Manning/Nichols/Jennings/Garrett (CFL/NFL)

It seems we've had several interesting stories pop up across the football world in the last few days, and I'd love to make a detailed post about each and every one, but that would take more time than I have, so instead I'll briefly go into each story below. Welcome to QUICK SLANTS!

1) Manning retires. New York Giants long-time quarterback announced his retirement the other day, bringing his illustrious 16-year NFL career to and end. It's not known as of yet what he plans to do after football (possibly staying in it as a coach), but he does retire as one of the greatest New York Giants in history, leading many categories, and having won two Super Bowls over the course of his career. TTS wishes him all the best.

2) Jennings goes bye-bye. The more surprising story in the football world was the release of QB Jonathon Jennings by the Ottawa RedBlacks yesterday. Jennings hadn't been with the team long, and was expected to become the full-time starting quarterback at some point. It is well known that new head coach Paul LaPolice was interested in bringing over Matt Nichols from the Blue Bombers to be the new starter, but that hasn't happened. The RedBlacks are now without an experienced QB on their roster, and this makes little sense right now.

3) Garrett joins the Giants. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett has officially joined the New York Giants as their new offensive coordinator. He takes over the offensive duties on a team that really has had no proper offence for the past couple of season, with every aspect of it struggling in some way or form. Will this improve the hapless Giants? We'll have to wait and see.

4) Nichols gets angry. Winnipeg Blue Bombers QB Matt Nichols has publicly expressed his frustration with the fact that the Bombers are prioritizing the signing of QB Zach Collaros over his own. As much as I like and respect Matt Nichols, he's a little out of line in going this route, as Collaros was the one who helped the Blue Bombers win the Grey Cup and end a 29-year drought. Nichols should be happy at the fact that it was his leadership and ability that gave the team a fast start to the season, a while before he was injured.

Got something to say about this post? Leave a comment below!

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

The CFL and it's 'international' decisions. (CFL)

It was announced today that the Canadian Football League came to an agreement for a 'partnership' with the CBFA, a Brazilian football organization responsible for several tiers of football in that country. In the last couple of years or less, the CFL, at the direction of it's commissioner - Randy Ambrosie - has been making deals and partnerships with other 'football' leagues around the world, including those in Germany, Japan, and Mexico.

It is in my opinion that this could be a very slippery slope for the CFL and Randy Ambrosie, and shouldn't be the focus of a Canadian league that is looking to beef up the game here at home first and foremost, There are several glaring problems with this new initiative, which I will go into detail about right now.

1) Canadian players. Finding talent from other countries might seem like a good idea, but it's not. Roster space has been increased for import players as of late, while roster space for domestic (Canadian) players has either stayed the same, or decreased. More emphasis needs to be placed on developing Canadian players from the CIS university program, which also needs to be upgraded. How many more Canadian-born players do we need to lose to American programs?

2) League problems. Nothing much has happened in Halifax yet to get a stadium built and finally have a tenth team in operations. If and when this happens (and we here at TTS hope it does), we'll have an actual cost-to-coast league we can be proud of. There is also the fact that a couple of teams have attendance issues, those being the B.C. Lions and Toronto Argonauts. This needs to be addressed first and foremost, especially in Toronto.

3) History repeats? Remember the last time the CFL tried to go beyond it's means? In something we will never, ever talk about except in this paragraph, the CFL went bonkers and tried that massive U.S. expansion that was a total bust (save for the Stallions). It was a bad idea then to expand and grow the league outside of Canada, and it's a bad idea now. This isn't the NFL with it's billions of dollars and care-free attitude. This is the CFL, which isn't rich, but gets by on home-grown affection from it's fans here in Canada, as well as it's rich history.

The CFL needs to end this international nonsense here and now, and Ambrosie needs to smarten up else he'll go down as the worst commissioner in the history of the CFL.

Agree or disagree? Leave a comment below!

Friday, January 17, 2020

Danny Maciocia/Nick Arbuckle. (CFL)

Today, we're going to touch on two big subjects in the Canadian Football league at the moment, and go a little into depth on both fronts.


As everyone knows by now, Danny Maciocia was brought in by the new owners of the Montreal Alouettes as their new General Manager. This was initially somewhat surprising, as Maciocia was happily running the successful football program at the University of Montreal, having taken the Carabins from obscurity and into perennial Vanier Cup contenders, winning the top prize in his time there as well.

Maciocia won a Grey Cup in his first year as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos, and seems to do well wherever he goes. I believe that the new owners made a statement in hiring him, wanting someone with a winning pedigree to run the team and rebuild it into a contender. This, in concert with head coach Khari Jones (who did an amazing job in Montreal this past season) should bring the Alouettes some instant credibility once again.


This one is more confusing than anything at the moment. The Ottawa RedBlacks had acquired the rights to the former Stamps QB, and decided to bring him in for workouts in the next few days or so. Considering that new RedBlacks head coach Paul LaPolice (formerly of the Grey Cup champion Blue Bombers) said on a couple occasions that he specifically wanted to target QB Matt Nichols as the RedBlacks' next franchise quarterback, this move was weird at best.

Yes, Nick Arbuckle is good. Yes, he played behind Bo Levi Mitchell in Calgary. But....Calgary has always had depth on their roster, something that Ottawa hasn't really had. Sure, they've had great players here and there, and had enough stars to win a Grey Cup in 2016. The lack of year to year elite players has been an issue, and one would think they would go after Nichols unconditionally.

This is not a knock against Arbuckle, but rather a question mark hanging above the RedBlacks as a whole. Why say one thing and do another?

Questions? Comments? Leave them below!

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

NFL Conference Final predictions! (NFL)

AFC Final

1) Tennessee @ Kansas City

The Titans shocked everyone last weekend when they handily disposed of the Ravens in Baltimore. No one (including me) saw that coming. This game will be different, however. The atmosphere at Arrowhead is hostile and loud, to say the least.

Chiefs have depth, and them some. They also have far more quality play makers on their team, and have a very dynamic offence that can adapt in most situations. As much as like the Titans' running game, I don't think it will compare with the Chiefs.

This one however, will be a closer game than most realize.

PICK: Chiefs

NFC Final

2) Green Bay @ San Francisco

Aaron Rodgers has done this already, and done it well. Problem is, he hasn't gone up against a rock solid defence as this Niners team when he did. Good against the pass, amazing against the rush, the 49ers have the acumen and poise to come out on top in this one, and at home.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo is gaining confidence as he gets through the post-season, and the defence is stepping up making the big plays. Add their  multi-dimensional run game to the mix, and you have a complete team that can do anything.

This one won't be so close.

PICK: 49ers


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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

NFL Divisional weekend predictions! (NFL)

Okay, so this past weekend didn't go exactly as planned, as surprised a LOT of sports writers and pundits out there. Time to get down and dirty for Divisional weekend!


1) Houston @ Kansas City

Unlike last weekend, where the Texans faced an inexperienced Bills QB and team-in-progress, they go into Kansas City to play a team with an explosive QB and offence that can put up points at will. Add the raucous crowd at Arrowhead Stadium into the mix, and the Texans don't have a chance. They might put up a bit of a fight, but their post-season ends here.

PICK: Chiefs

2) Tennessee @ Baltimore

Same scenario here. The Titans beat up a Patriots team and QB that are rapidly falling from grace. The Ravens, at home, will dismantle them quickly and easily. With respect to Ryan Tannehill, he won't be nearly as effective as Lamar Jackson.

PICK: Ravens


1) Minnesota @ San Francisco

The Vikings surprised everyone this past weekend by getting by the Saints. Unfortunately for them, their road takes them to the brick wall that is the 49ers defence. Cousins and crew aren't getting past said wall, and will hit it, hard.

PICK: 49ers

2) Seattle @ Green Bay

When Eagles QB Carson Wentz got knocked out last weekend, that was it for them. Seattle will have a much tougher opponent in the Packers, who should prevail at the Frozen Tundra. Expect Packers QB Aaron Rodgers to have a good game as well.

PICK: Packers


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Monday, January 6, 2020

Saints out, Garrett out, McCarthy in. (NFL)

What an interesting few days we just had in the National Football League. Just when you think you've seen everything, a whole smattering of crazy events go down.

1) Saints....lose? In a HUGE playoff shocker, the New Orleans Saints lost at home to the Minnesota Vikings. Saints QB Drew Brees through a major interception late in the game to help the Vikings win it in overtime and advance to the Divisional round next week. No one, and I mean NO ONE saw this coming. The Saints were an easy favourite (which we here at TTS picked as well) that rarely lose at home. Just wow is all we can see here.

2) Garrett is gone. The Dallas Cowboys have parted ways with their long time head coach, electing to fire him after another sub standard season at the helm. It has already been announced today that the Cowboys will hire former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy as his replacement. It will be interesting to see how different the offence will be with McCarthy in charge, and whether or not he'll bring in anyone to help out. What the Cowboys really need is for owner Jerry Jones to give McCarthy a healthy level of autonomy to make this all work.

3) Bills blow it. The Buffalo Bills were dominating the Houston Texans on Saturday. For three quarters, the Bills were playing excellent football, and the game looked to be over. Unfortunately, the Bills remembered that they were the Bills, and went on to blow their lead, get taken to overtime, then lose. Texans QB DeShaun Watson really brought his team back from the abyss, and we think that maybe he might have learned a few things in the process.

The Bills were looking for their first playoff win since 1995 (yes, you read that right), but couldn't pull the trigger yet again, and extend their NFL-leading playoff drought by another season. Buffalo looked very good this year, and had the pieces necessary for a decent playoff run. But, as Charles Bronson was good at saying, "No dice."

4) Au revoir, New England!

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Wednesday, January 1, 2020

NFL Wild Card weekend predictions! (NFL)

The NFL playoffs are finally here, and as promised, TTS brings you our predictions on the full schedule of playoff contests, up to and including the Super Bowl!


1) Buffalo @ Houston

This could be an interesting game for a myriad of reasons. The Texans get defensive stud J.J. Watt back from injury, and he himself can make almost any kind of play. QB DeShaun Watson can  make plays with both his arm and his legs, and usually is quite explosive. On the other side of the coin, the Bills are having their best season in years, and look to keep rolling. Offence hasn't been a problem for them all season, and I don't think it will be here.

PICK: Bills

2) Tennessee @ New England

I smell an upset of epic proportions here. Titans' QB Ryan Tannehill is a different man this season, and the Titans' running game is doing quite well. If their defence steps up big time, they can beat the Patriots, who look very mortal as of late. New England's time at the top has reached it's end.

PICK: Titans


1) Sorry Minnesota, but you're playing New Orleans, in New Orleans, against Drew Brees. Add to the fact that no one ever knows which Kirk Cousins will show up for the Vikes, and you have all the elements for a beat down.

PICK: Saints

2) Seattle @ Philadelphia

The Seahawks are coming off a season finale at home where they lost to San Francisco 49ers, who humbled them by virtually shutting down Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch. They go into Philly to play a hungry Eagles team, who's quarterback has a lot to prove. The Philly crowd should also come into play here as well.

PICK: Eagles


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