Category: Sports Blog

Jeremy Sneed Week 1 NFL Draft Picks


Thursday Night Football

7:30 PM Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos

-In this super bowl rematch, it is important to acknowledge the differences in that game and this one.  The Panthers were without Kelvin Benjamin and the Broncos have a new QB, Trevor Siemian.  Keeping this simple, I think the Panthers will blow out the Broncos and I think Siemian struggles against the Panthers defense.

Final Score:  45-17

Sunday Early Games

Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans

-With Teddy Bridgewater injured, I think it will take a few weeks for the Vikings to get their offense on the right page.  With that being said the Titans are going be very competitive and I think they start the season on the right track with a home victory.

Final Score: 24-18

Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans

-This is a hard game for me to pick because of the fact that I am a Bears fan.  JJ Watt is still questionable for this game and I think if he doesn’t play then the Bears win, but they lose if he plays.  So, assuming that he does play this week, I think Brock Osweiler gets his first Texans victory against my Bears.

Final Score: 23-17

Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles

-I believe the Browns will be sneaky good this season with the likes of RG3, Josh Gordon, Gary Barnidge & Corey Coleman.  The Eagles are starting #2 overall pick Carson Wentz this week after trading Sam Bradford to the Vikings.  I think the Browns will upset Wentz and the Eagles with a very close win on Sunday.

Final Score: 28-27

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens

-I think this an easy game to predict: Buffalo Bills.  The Ravens are recovering from a lot of injuries and the Bills are coming off a promising season with Tyrod Taylor emerging as a star.

Final Score: 31-19

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs

-I think that the Chargers are going to be the worst team this season.  So I think the season starts off on a bad foot on the road in KC.  I predict that the Chiefs easily take down the Chargers with a final score of 35-15.

Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints

-This game has the potential to be a very entertaining matchup and I think it will live up to that hype.  Both teams are going to air it our down the field and it will come down to turnovers to prove who wins this game.  I think the Raiders defense will hold up and help Oakland win their season opener.

Final Score: 36-28

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons

-I believe that this game will be very offensive driven as well.  Just like with Oakland and New Orleans, I think this will game will come to which defense will be able to stop who later on in the game.  When it’s all said and done I think that Famous Jameis and the Buccaneers will come out on top in the season opener.

Final Score: 27-21

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets

-The New York Jets have a lot to prove this season because they were very close to making the playoffs and now they have Matt Forte and resigned Ryan Fitzpatrick.  The Bengals have been a very successful regular season team, but have yet to make it far in the playoffs.  In a close game, dominated by defense, I think that the Bengals pull out the win on the road.

Final Score: 17-14

Green Bay Packers @ Jacksonville Jaguars

-While I do think that the Jaguars are going to win the AFC South Division, I think this will be a game that they will be unable to win.  I do think they will make it very close, but Aaron Rodgers comes through clutch for the Packers and helps them win their season opener.

Final Score: 24-17

Sunday Afternoon Games

3:05 PM Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks

-There isn’t much to say about this game except that the Seahawks are going to be way too much for the Dolphins to handle.  I think Russell Wilson leads a blowout victory at home.

Final Score: 45-14

3:25 PM New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys

-With Tony Romo injured, fans immediately thought back to last season when the Cowboys went 0-12 without Tony Romo.  This season will be different though with rookie Dak Prescott in line to start.  Despite the fact the Giants opened up the checkbook this offseason to sign defensive players, I think Prescott and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott will lead the Cowboys to a much needed home victory.

Final Score: 42-38

3:25 PM Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts

-This is a very hard game to predict because it is hard to tell how well Andrew Luck is going to perform coming off of all of his injuries sustained last season.  The Lions on the other hand lost Calvin Johnson due to retirement, but did bring in Marvin Jones to try to help out the receiving core.  In this game, I think it will come down to the running game between Ameer Abdullah & Frank Gore.  I think the Colts win this battle and pick up their first win of the season.

Final Score: 23-16

Sunday Night Football

7:30 PM New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals

-I think this game is going to be a blowout victory for the New England Patriots.  I don’t really know what it is about the Cardinals but I think they are very overrated.  Also, I think Jimmy Garoppolo is eager to prove his worth in the NFL.  I believe he is going to make a statement in week 1 that he is ready to dominate the NFL for years to come.

Final Score: 52-21

Monday Night Football

6:10 PM Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins

-Kirk Cousins proved last season that he is a dominating figure at the quarterback position.  The issue for me comes with the lack of weapons that the Redskins have.  I think the presence of Antonio Brown alone will help the Steelers win this game.  I do think that Cousins will make it a close game though.

Final Score: 31-23

9:20 PM Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers

-The Rams are back in Los Angeles!  Luckily for them they get the play the 49ers in their return to LA.  The 49ers have a lot of issues besides Colin Kaepernicks national anthem stance.  I think the Rams ride Todd Gurley’s bandwagon and he single-handedly beats the 49ers.

Final Score: 17-7

 

Sorry for the delay in posting this. These will be regular posts from here on out so expect two draft picks this week from Jeremy.

-WIDB/SPC Graduate Advisor

Cutting Matt Slauson Shows Ryan Pace’s Inexperience


By: Peter Bobrinskoy

Despite many Bears fans thinking that Ryan Pace concluded with another successful draft, Ray Pace could not help but leave those same fans scratching their heads Sunday afternoon. On Sunday, one day after the NFL draft ended, General Manager Ryan Pace cut starting guard Matt Slauson. It was a very confusing and poorly thought-out decision. There are only four reasons that could have gone through Ryan Pace’s head for him to try to justify this very confusing and questionable decision.

  1. The Bears are looking to get younger. Matt Slauson is 33 years old. And with the addition of second round pick Cody Whitehair, the Bears could be better off with a younger player at the guard position for their long term plans.
  2. Matt Slauson’s best football days are behind him and the Bears are seeking more athleticism.
  3. Slauson was on a multi veteran year deal so the Bears will save money.
  4. Getting rid of Slauson, gives rookie Cody Whitehair a chance to start Week 1, giving him NFL experience right away and allowing him more chances to develop.

           Now here is where all of those reasons will be refuted.

Reason #1 actually has some truth to it. Cody Whitehair is ten years younger than Saluson. However, its pretty hypocritical because Ryan Pace signed veteran guard Manny Ramirez from the Detroit Lions in March… Oh yeah, and Ramirez is 36, 3 years older than Slauson.

           Reason #2 is also very head scratching. Greg Slauson had one of his best seasons last year. He played in all 16 games and provided much needed depth after center Will Montgomery went to the IR after season ending injury. He filled in right away when rookie Hronis Grasu wasn’t ready and then continued to make line calls even after returning to guard. He has been very solid for the Bears the last three seasons and there were not any signs that he was going to slow down next year.

Yeah the Bears saved $2.87 million in cutting Slauson. So financial motivation is just not true when it comes to reason #3.

Reason #4 is what is most troubling. Ryan Pace can not use Cody Whitehair to justify the Slauson. Reason #4 could have been true if Ryan Pace hadn’t signed Ted Larsen, Bobby Massie, and Manny Ramirez, three veterans who can potentially take away starting positions from Cody Whitehair, Hronis Grasu, and Charles Leno Jr. Whitehair, Grasu, and Leno are three players all on rookie contracts that can have their development stunted if these veterans take their playing time next season. Also Larsen and Ramirez are not better than Slauson when it comes to playing Guard in the NFL.

After the Bears went 6-10, it seems that Bears fans have given Ryan Pace the benefit of the doubt. They have given him their trust despite the fact that he has made multiple questionable decisions: trading the team’s best offensive player in Brandon Marshall and a 7th round pick for only a 5th round pick, not trying to resign legendary running back Matt Forte, and now cutting Greg Slauson.

The Bears lost arguably two of their biggest leaders in the locker room. Matt Forte and Greg Slauson were a huge part of whatever success the Bears have had the last three to eight seasons. Pace needs to start thinking very hard about the next leaders he wants to cut because these are very big risks he is taking. Matt Forte was not just some aging veteran who was on the decline. Matt Forte was one of the three greatest running backs in this franchise’s history who set the standard for what it meant to be a Chicago Bear. Ryan Pace better win… a lot. Because these type of decisions can backfire on a GM very easily.

NFL Draft


By: Peter Bobrinskoy

It’s currently 12:47 AM on a Thursday night. I just got back from being at my friend’s apartment where we watched the entire first round of the NFL draft and I want somebody to punch me in the face. I want someone to punch me for two reasons. The first reason is because I just wasted 2 and ½ hours of my time watching a live event where I knew 9 of the players called and was completely bored out of mind. Comedian Bill Burr compared watching the NFL Draft to being at a graduation where you don’t know anybody in the senior class. The second reason is because I have now come to the realization that I hate Ryan Pace more than anything. I wrote a blog a month ago warning Ryan Pace about free agency and how he needs to stay away from it. That he needs to receive compensation picks and build entirely through the draft, collecting as many draft picks as possible. Instead Ryan Pace has done the exact opposite. He couldn’t help himself and signed Jerrell Freeman, Akiem Hicks, Bobby Massie, Ted Larsen, Omar Bolden, Manny Ramirez, and Danny Trevathan. I mean why did the Bears fire Phil Emery if they were just going to hire the exact same person after? Ryan Pace is making the exact same mistakes Phil Emery made. Phil Emery never put all of his chips into the NFL draft. Rookie contracts, under the new collective bargaining agreement are much cheaper than veteran free agents, therefore having way more value. The best teams in the NFL collect as many draft picks as possible. The three ways of receiving more draft picks? Receiving compensation picks by staying away from free agency, trading players for draft picks, and trading down in the draft. Ryan Pace has done none of those things. He thinks he is, when he trades Martellus Bennett and Brandon Marshall for draft assets. The worst GMs think that moving up in the draft is more important than having more draft picks. He traded Brandon Marshall and a 7th round pick to the Jets in exchange for a 5th round pick. Why the hell did get give the Jets that 7th round pick? Same with the Patriots. Why did he give Martellus Bennet and a 6th round pick for a 4th round pick. Gaining more picks is more valuable than moving up in the draft. That is why Bill Belicheck is so much better at the NFL draft than anybody else. He moves back as much as possible so he can gain more picks. He’s not thinking about giving up multiple assets in order to gain just one asset.

I was really crossing my fingers earlier today, hoping there was a chance the Bears were going to pull a “Bill Belicheck” and trade down in the draft and receive more draft picks. But here we were with the 11th pick in the draft today and instead of pulling a “Bill Belicheck”, Ryan Pace decided to pull a “Phil Emery”.  The Tampa Bay Buccaneers were on the clock with the 9th pick and according to Ian Rapaport, were planning on taking Vernon Hargreaves, a cornerback out of Florida. Ryan Pace, scared that the Giants with the 10th pick were going to take Leonard Floyd after, decided to give the Bucs a fourth round pick so the Bears could move up two spots and be assured they would get Leonard Floyd. Now I am not a college football scout, I have never seen Leonard Floyd play football before, and for all I know this guy could become a future pro bowler someday. But this trade is a symbol for why the Bears have sucked the last 25 years. This trade is a symbol that the Bears do not value having as many draft picks as possible. Two picks later the Bucs drafted Vernon Hargreaves, the player they wanted all along. The Bears literally just gave the Buccaneers a fourth round for waiting and getting the exact same player they wanted. Other teams have thrived off of the Bears stupidity for years. The Bears like to sign splashy free agents, move up in the draft, an be an exciting team that likes to be aggressive with their roster moves. I don’t care if the Bears only gave away a 7th round pick to move up. They moved in the wrong direction. More picks, not less.

There are two types of teams in the NFL. The smart ones that understand how valuable it is to stockpile picks, and the desperate and greedy ones, which don’t. The former get that having as many players on rookie contracts as possible is a good thing; the latter still mistakenly think that the quarterback trumps all. Look at the Rams and Eagles who traded up and thought like Phil Emery. The other day I was reading the Chicago Tribune and reporter Brad Biggs was answering a fan’s question when he said, “Why did Ryan Pace sign free agents as opposed to building through the draft?” And Brad Biggs defended Ryan Pace saying that the Bears had way too many holes to fix. That having 9 draft picks in this draft would not be enough to fix all the problems. What Brad Biggs does not understand is that if the Bears didn’t make stupid decisions last year like signing Eddie Royal, Pernell McPhee, and Antrel Rolle in free agency. They would have gained potentially three compensation picks and would have had 12 draft picks to play with this year and to help rebuild this team. Biggs then went on to say that roster building is a healthy balance. No it is not. Roster building should 100% be through the NFL draft. The Packers, Seahawks, and Ravens have proven that. Read this next sentence and read it good. The Bears will never be consistently better than the Packers as long as the Packers have 11 draft picks every year while the Bears have 7.

 

Salukis Take Care of Belmont Business


By: Joe Frye

It was business as usual for the Saluki baseball team as they defeated the Belmont Bruins 11-1 on Tuesday night in a non conference matchup at Itchy Jones Stadium. The now 18-10 Salukis broke the game wide open in the second inning, by scoring seven runs, and used a great effort from their relief pitchers to close the door. Junior Austin McPheron didn’t start the game, but he took absolute control when he took over in the third inning, and went 4 2/3 innings without allowing a run and only surrendering two hits. McPheron relieved junior Connor McFadden who went the initial two innings but was relieved of his duties after having trouble finding the strike zone. Senior Colten Selvey grabbed four outs, and then freshman Mitch Townsend notched a 1-2-3 ninth inning. The most impressive part of this game was the powerful offense Belmont brought according to our stat sheets. Eight of the nine starters came in with a batting average above .300. Also Belmont was coming into this matchup after sweeping UT Martin and scoring a total of forty runs in three ball games, including a twenty-three run explosion on Saturday.

But the Dawgs came in with an attitude that knew they would dominate from the get-go and they would prevail. Offensively it was multiple contributors but it was especially nice to see sophomore Nick Hutchins lead the way with three rbi’s and going 3-5. Hutchins struggled at the plate this past weekend, but was the WIDB co-player of the game due to his stellar defensive and hitting. Junior Will Farmer continued his hot streak, going 3-5 as well while scoring two runs and driving in one more. SIU tallied fifteen hits, and scored double digits for the second time in four games.

After this win the Salukis won’t be slowing down, as they head to Murray Statetomorrow for a one game series against the Racers. After that, its another three game homestead as Indiana State comes to town Friday through Sunday. You can catch all those home games on WIDB.net and read our postgame blogs afterwards.