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50 Years Ago: Joe Namath and the Jets Shock the World 0

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Dean Hybl
Joe Namath dominated the attention prior to Super Bowl III, but few expected his team to win.

Joe Namath dominated the attention prior to Super Bowl III, but few expected his team to win.

With apologies to boxing legend Muhammad Ali, the most shocking sports victory of the 1960s took place 50 years ago on January 12, 1969 when the underdog New York Jets lifted the fortunes of an entire league by defeating the heavily favored Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.

Though the American Football League (AFL) was completing its ninth season and the champions of the AFL and National Football League (NFL) were meeting for the third straight year, most people did not consider the two leagues to be equal. In fact, it is reported that NFL Commissioner Pete Rozelle believed it might be another decade before the AFL would be an equal to the NFL and that a new format for the Super Bowl might be needed.

In hindsight, we know that the two leagues were indeed much closer in competitiveness than Rozelle believed, but at the time his reasoning was hard to argue against. The NFL Champion Green Bay Packers had claimed the first two Super Bowls by a combined margin of 68-24 and the current NFL Champion Baltimore Colts were perhaps an even more dominant champion than Green Bay.

While the Colts were an established NFL power, the New York Jets were an AFL upstart that had just completed the second winning season in franchise history and were making their first-ever trip to the playoffs.

However, one “ace in the hole” for the Jets was roaming their sidelines. Head Coach Week Ewbank had won two NFL Championships during his nine year tenure as coach of the Baltimore Colts. After moving to the Jets, he had taken the team from a basement dweller to league champions.

During both his time with the Colts and the Jets, Ewbank had the benefit of having an elite franchise quarterback leading the offense.

In Baltimore, he turned Johnny Unitas into an all-time great. Though New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath had not yet reached that status level, in 1967 he did become the first quarterback in pro football history to pass for more than 4,000 yards in a season. Read the rest of this entry →

Predicting the 2019 NFL Conference Championships 0

Posted on January 11, 2019 by Kobe Bernard
Can Tom Brady and the Patriots make the AFC Championship Game for the 8th straight year?

Can Tom Brady and the Patriots make the AFC Championship Game for the 8th straight year?

The Divisional rounds are this weekend so it’s time to start looking at possible AFC & NFC Championships matchups and all of the historical data that comes with it.

Odds are out at the top betting site BetOnline as well as SuperBook and many others. At this point shortly before the Divisional Round plays out, the Kansas City Chiefs lead the pack at +160 to win the AFC. Not surprisingly, the New England Patriots are second at +200. The Los Angeles Chargers and Indianapolis Colts are +450 and +500 respectively.

A Brief History of Conference Championships

Let’s look at the last four years of NFL Conference Championships and see if we can’t find anything that will point us in the right direction as far as predicting this season’s outcomes.

2018 Jaguars vs. Patriots & Vikings vs. Eagles

Ok. we all remember the amazing Jaguars defense that miraculously got Blake Bortles and a less than stellar Jacksonville offense all the way to the AFC Championship Game. Amazingly enough, Bortles passed for 293 yards and a TD without an interception, but it still wasn’t enough. Brady threw two TDs and the Patriots won 24-20 and went on to the Super Bowl.

Then we had the Vikings and their resurgent Purple People Eater defense playing against an Eagles team that had to throw a Nick Foles who hadn’t seen much action all season into the starting role. So the Vikings were three-point favorites, but Foles came out and dropped three TDs and 352 yards on Minnesota. He embarrassed the Vikings in a 38-7 Eagles win. Read the rest of this entry →

Philadelphia Eagles at Washington Redskins: Two Memorable Days at Old RFK Stadium 1

Posted on December 29, 2018 by Dean Hybl

1981-Eagles-RedskinsThe Philadelphia Eagles and Washington Redskins will renew their rivalry on Sunday for the 169th time as both teams look to close out the 2018 season with a victory.

Since they first met on October 21, 1934 when the Redskins were still playing in Boston, the Eagles and Redskins have played many memorable games. As division rivals, they typically play twice a year, which has created great drama and familiarity for both the franchises and the fans. They have met one time in the playoffs, with the Redskins ending the Buddy Ryan era in Philadelphia with a 20-6 win over the Eagles during the 1990 season.

The Redskins hold the all-time series lead 85-77-6, but interestingly enough, the Eagles actually have out-scored the Redskins 3,535 points to 3,336.

I had the great pleasure of witnessing two of the most exciting games in the series, both played at the old RFK Stadium in Washington.

The first was during the 1981 season and the second was in 1989. Both games included some fantastic individual plays and exciting endings that resulted in the team that had seemingly been in control for most of the game making a fatal mistake that cost them the win.

December 6, 1981 – Week 14 – Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) at Washington Redskins (5-8)

After reaching the Super Bowl during the 1980 season, the Philadelphia Eagles started the 1981 campaign with six straight wins and seemed poised for another championship run. However, they entered the week 14 game at Washington having lost two straight games and three of their last five.

Conversely, in their first season under the leadership of Joe Gibbs, the Redskins opened the 1981 campaign with five straight losses. After climbing to 5-6 on the season with an overtime win over the New York Giants, they stumbled with consecutive losses to enter the game against the Eagles with a 5-8 record and trying to avoid a losing campaign. Read the rest of this entry →

Do Wonderlic Scores Correspond With Success in the NFL? 0

Posted on December 15, 2018 by Alex Merashi

NFL-studyWhat is a Wonderlic Test?

The Wonderlic Test is an important test that has been widely used by prospective employers to assess different abilities in a candidate. It has 50 questions to be answered in 12 minutes. A score of 20 reflects average intelligence and a score of 10 points and below means that a candidate is illiterate. In NFL, the test has played an important role in assessing team making efforts in a player.

The NFL uses the test to assess the critical thinking abilities of a player. As a matter of fact, the NFL usually doesn’t consider whether a player is good in Math or understands what the meaning of certain words is. It cares about the ability of a player to solve problems within the shortest time possible.

Wonderlic Score and Success in NFL

Wonderlic Tests help to analyses the potential of an NFL player. It measures a players skills, and how the player can perform at the next level. Therefore, if you are curious about whether the score determines the overall performance of a player, the truth is that the test offers a good comparison on what to expect in the future.

Ideally, the Wonderlic Test focuses on the problem-solving skills of an NFL player in an environment that is mentally taxing. Time and again, NFL teams get standardized Wonderlic Scores or results. This is usually a solid result, and it doesn’t doom a players chances of performing exceptionally well in NFL. Read the rest of this entry →

How Do Football Players Work Out? 0

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Scott Huntington

Football is an incredibly physical sport. Those playing at the top of the game all require specific diets and workouts for their position, ensuring that they’re in peak physical condition by the beginning of the season. However, all positions require strong athleticism and benefit from specific workouts. For any aspiring athletes hoping to play at the highest levels of competition, it’s important to know the basic form of a football workout.

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For a football workout, the goal is pushing each area of the body to its upper limit — focusing on those most important on the field — through targeted workouts. Here is a basic overview of effective workouts for each area.

Upper Body Workout

For expanding one’s upper body strength, nothing beats pressing. A good upper body workout should include a combination of flat bench press, military press and inclined dumbbell press. Pressing is great, as it works out the most important muscles in the upper body: your pectoral, deltoid, and triceps.

Along with presses, a good upper body regimen should include sets, which are great for lower back strength. Finally, you’ll want shrugs for your upper back and neck. Varying between these exercises will help build your entire upper body and get you powered up on the field. Read the rest of this entry →

Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver 1

Posted on December 10, 2018 by Dean Hybl

Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Iron Man Randy Smith
      February 2, 2019 | 5:58 pm

      Randy Smith-BravesThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month may have had a pretty common name, but his iron man streak as an NBA player was anything but ordinary.

      In a streak that lasted more than a decade, Randy Smith played in 906 consecutive NBA games to establish an NBA iron man record that lasted more than a decade.

      That Smith made it to the NBA at all was somewhat of an underdog story.

      A three-sport standout at Bellsport High School in Long Island (basketball, soccer and track), Smith also was a three-sport All-American at Division II Buffalo State College. He helped lead the Bengals to three straight basketball conference championships and a spot in the 1970 Division II Final Four.

      Read more »

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