NFC

NFC

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The only real certainly in the NFC North this season is that the Chicago Bears are going to be bad and Aaron Rodgers is still going to play at an MVP level. Everything else is up in the air. Matthew Stafford just signed the biggest contract in NFL history, which includes $92 million dollars in guaranteed money and he is going to have to show he deserved it all by outdueling Rodgers in the division. The Vikings return with Sam Bradford under center and some excitement in the running game despite losing Adrian Peterson but this still feels like a two team race between the Packers and Lions.

 

Packers – Predicted Record (11-5) With the Packers, most of their issues for the 2017 season will be on the defensive side of the ball. Last year they were terrible, especially in the secondary but they made some improvements in that area this offseason by using a pair of second round picks on defensive backs. Offensively, having Rodgers will always give you a chance to beat anyone and his weapons are as good as ever with Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, DaVante Adams and the addition of Martellus Bennett. They will need more production from Ty Montgomery in the running game but as long as they don’t start out 4-6 again as they did last year, they should be in a position to claim the division in the end.

Lions – Predicted Record (10-6) Stafford had one of his best seasons last year and that was despite losing Calvin Johnson to retirement. He did build a nice connection with Golden Tate and he will need to do that again as well as connect with Marvin Jones Jr and Eric Ebron. Getting some added help from Ameer Abdullah in the running game would be a huge plus but the loss of tackle Taylor Decker to offseason shoulder surgery could be a problem. The defense has questions but If rookies Jarrad Davis and Teez Tabor step up and contribute as expected, the defense will be more than good enough to keep the Lions hot on the Packers heels.

Vikings – Predicted Record (8-8) Latavius Murray and rookie Dalvin Cook from Florida State will do their best to replace Adrian Peterson and should do a good job of it together. Sam Bradford gets to have a full offseason to understand the offense, unlike last year where he was handed the keys at the last minute when Teddy Bridgewater was lost for the year. Bradford will need more assistance from wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Laquan Treadwell. They have one of the better cornerbacks in the league with Xavier Rhodoes and a defense that is decent enough to keep them in games. With a couple good breaks, the Vikings could easily be 10-6 but they could also just as easily wind up 6-10. Expect them to be competitive no matter what.

Bears – Predicted Record (4-12) This is no doubt a new era in Chicago after the departure of franchise quarterback, Jay Cutler and the drafting of rooking quarterback, Mitchell Trubisky from North Carlolina. The Bears traded up in the trade to select Trubisky #2 overall so they have high hopes for the kid, just don’t expect much this season. The Bears will start the season with Mike Glennon at quarterback but don’t expect it to remain that way for long as they need to let the rookie get his lumps and learn the game at the NFL level. The roster has holes in it at every position and this is one of those teams that basically anything positive that you see will be a welcomed thing. Alshon Jeffery is not around anymore to be a big target for the quarterbacks and Victor Cruz, who they hoped would help them in the passing game, wound up being cut before the final roster was made. Bears fans will need to be patient and look to build on anything good from this season to head into next year.

Sep 21, 2017 No Comments
AFC

AFC

NFL

Here we are with another NFL season and as usual, not much has changed in the dismal AFC East. It’s 2017 but if you have been sleeping under a rock for the past ten years, the division still looks the same as it did back in 2007. It’s the New England Patriots kingdom while the Miami Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets all compete to see who will be the best peasant to finish in second place. Heading into this offseason, the Dolphins were convinced this could be the year they dethrone the Patriots but with the loss of starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill to a knee injury that will force him to miss the entire season, everything is now in doubt. The Dolphins were lucky enough to bring in a quarterback in Jay Cutler, who despite receiving a lot of criticism, is at least an experienced starting quarterback but with a short time to get to know the offense, as well as his teammates, it’s anyone’s guess as to how it will play out. As I mentioned earlier however, it really doesn’t matter because they are all playing for second place after the Patriots.

 

Patriots – Predicted Record (13-3) I feel like I’m almost disrespecting the Pats by saying they will lose three games this year. It’s very likely that one or two of those losses could come late in the season as the Patriots rest many of their important players to make sure they’re healthy for the playoffs. Their second half schedule is actually pretty tough as it includes away games at Oakland, Denver and Pittsburgh and home field advantage could be riding on games like those. Expect the feel of that monster comeback in the Super Bowl to carry into this season. Tom Brady still looks like he is drinking from the fountain of youth and this year he is reloaded with more weapons. While the Pats did unfortunately lose Julian Edelman for the season with a knee injury, they covered that loss by bringing in Brandin Cooks from the Saints, as well as trading for Phillip Dorsett from the Colts, in a move that saw them send third string quarterback, Jacob Brissett to Indianapolis in return. Rob Gronkowski staying on the field is always a concern but they went out and got Martellus Bennett from the Packers as insurance at tight end. The defense remains as good as it was last year and they will likely be even better with the addition of Stephon Gilmore in the defensive backfield. The Patriots aren’t concerned with the division in the least bit. They have their eyes on much bigger things, such as a return trip to the Super Bowl and it doesn’t seem like there is any team in the AFC as a whole that will be able to prevent that from happening.

Dolphins – Predicted Record (8-8) The Dolphins do have a talented roster but in reality they are at least another year away from really scaring the Patriots and that was BEFORE Ryan Tannehill was lost for the season.  Jay Cutler was brought in due to his relationship with head coach, Adam Gase and the familiarity with the offense but there is a lot that remains to be seen about what Cutler can do on the field this season. He was terrible in Chicago last year and was well on his way to an analyst job this year before the Dolphins came calling. He has weapons like Jarvis Landry at his disposal but most experts don’t even have the Dolphins finishing at .500 for the year. If they want to have any type of chance at a wild card spot, they are going to rely heavily on their defense, led by Ndamukong Suh and Cameron Wake.

Bills – Predicted Record (6-10) The Bills haven’t been to the playoffs since 1999 and that streak will definitely continue for the 2017 campaign. Buffalo at one point this offseason, seemed to be in tank mode when they let the Patriots take their best defensive player in Stephon Gilmore and then they traded their best wide receiver in Sammy Watkins to the Los Angeles Rams and really got crumbs in return. Tyrod Taylor is still full of question marks at the quarterback position and although having LeSean McCoy as a safety net to help Taylor throughout the year, first year coach, Sean McDermott is going to have his hands full with a roster that saw more than half the players from last year’s team not stick around for 2017. There will be a handful of games there the Bills are competitive but even reaching six wins could be tough.

Jets – Predicted Record (2-14) I’m going to try and keep this short about the Jets because they don’t deserve a lot of words. Even getting two wins on their schedule could be a stretch. This is going to be one of the worst teams we have seen in years. They are bad, real bad from top to bottom. It’s clearly a tank season for the franchise as they hope to rebuild by landing the #1 pick in the 2018 draft where they will definitely be drafting one of the prized quarterbacks who will be in the draft. The 2017 season doesn’t matter for them for anything other than accomplishing the tank. Their quarterback situation is laughable with Josh McCown and Christian Hackenberg and there are no weapons to throw the ball to even if the quarterbacks were any good. Trading Sheldon Richardson to the Seahawks was the final move in cementing the tank for 2017. If there is anything to feel good about as a Jets fan, it’s that they did draft well this past April, adding two safeties in Jamal Adams and Marcus Hayes, who could both become big time players in the next few years.

Sep 21, 2017 No Comments

Michael Clark Proves That (20/10 Vision) Does Exist In The Basketball World

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If you don’t know Michael Clark then it’s about time you get familiar. Michael Clark has changed the Arizona basketball culture and also changed the way that scouts look at prospects trying to make a name for themselves with exposure. Michael tapped into a market that was really struggling after the mid-2000′s. When you wanted to know the next best player coming up or the next LeBron James type of player you had to wait for ABCD Camps and AAU. Michael Clark created AZ Finest Mixtape in 2013 to bring all the prospects to you through Youtube. When Michael graduated from Arizona State University at the age of 22 years old in Business Communications he wanted to stand out from his competition. Mixing Business with Communications he has been able to flourish in the basketball world by being in the right place at the right time in Arizona. With AZ Finest Mixtape now all the prospects get the exposure that they deserve right away and get to watch their explosive highlights instantly through Clark’s vision.

Michael set out to make a name for himself in the Arizona basketball community through word of mouth. Different players in the city would talk to their friends about Michael’s vision and editing skills for highlight videos. Michael is a true testament that hard work pays when you apply yourself and stay focused. Michael started out recording videos for his brother back in high school and has grown AZ Finest Mixtape into the basketball player dream machine. Using his business mindset Michael capitalized on a passion for basketball and exposure to create a platform for young players to get their opportunity to shine. Michael produced videos of some of the best prospects in Arizona with a format that enhanced his vision. Clark single handily brought the excitement back to the Arizona basketball scene that was looking for an outlet for basketball besides the Phoenix Suns. Now people were actually looking at young prospects on the rise in Arizona on a daily because of AZ Finest Mixtape. Michael’s vision has now become a power house in the Arizona community and players go to him for exclusive highlight content.

Michael Clark has played a huge part in the Arizona basketball culture and showed that basketball is just as good from behind the lens. Usually, when people look for basketball prospects New York, California, DMV or Seattle are the places coaches used to go to for elite talent. Michael Clark’s impact on the state of basketball in the Arizona community was already cemented but needed that national buzz. That moment came through Marvin Bagley aka “The Newest Blue Devil” as he produced a lot of highlight videos that went viral right away. Once the videos with Marvin Bagley popped off that opened the eyes of a lot of Americans on AZ Finest Mixtape.

 

 

Clark was able to draw attention to his brand but it also was an opportunity to showcase his skills. People were recognizing Arizona as an undercover market for basketball that wasn’t gaining traction. Michael Clark’s vision opened the eyes of America on the Arizona basketball scene as people now are looking at the same talent he’s covered for years now.

Michael Clark has expressed the love/passion he has for the game of basketball and has become the go to man in Arizona for highlight tapes in the community. In a recent interview, Clark said: “With video, you can make every player look like they played well, even when they don’t”. Clark wanted to get the recognition that Ball Is Life gets and put Arizona on the map and he’s achieved both of them over the last couple of years. Whether people want to admit it or not Clark has put Arizona basketball on the scout/coach radar now. Using his producing/editing skills he has created an empire that has grown into a legacy.

Basketball players at every level reach out to Michael to create something special and this all started from recording his little brother. Clark’s grind and effort have gained the trust and respect from the Arizona basketball community. Basketball players in Arizona know that Michael gives them the exposure and the chance for millions to see the talent that we haven’t been exposed to in the past.

Nowadays, AZ Finest Mixtape has taken the social media platform by storm amassing thousands of followers. Clark has used his website www.azfinestmixtapes.com Youtube, Twitter, and different social platforms to get these players the exposure. Clark has done a lot of amazing things for these Arizona players and even if they don’t make the NBA. Michael Clark has created videos for these players but also experiences that they can cherish for life. AZ Finest Mixtape has a huge platform and Michael wants to use it to also get into sports management in the near future. When you’re around a lot of elite talent like Michael Clark you gain friendships and partnerships that will pay off in the long run. Clark has paved the way for Arizona basketball and will continue to grow into the visionary that he’s working on continuing to be.

AZ Finest Mixtape will be in the building for the 19th Annual Arizona Preps Fall Showcase on October 21st. Look out for that event and much more from Michael Clark as he’s shown that anything is possible if you put your mind to a goal.

Follow on Twitter & IG (@AZFINESTMIXTAPE) —>Twitter (@MICHAEL1CLARK) IG (@MICHAELCLARK1)

Sep 21, 2017 No Comments