How Good is Patrick Mahomes?

Patrick Mahomes AFC CG 2020
Patrick Mahomes leads the Kansas City Chiefs to a 35 -24 Victory over the Tennessee Titans in the 2020 AFC Championship Game.

Some say that Patrick Mahomes is the best QB in the NFL. Period. Mahomes is the reigning league MVP, and he’s leading his team to the Super Bowl in just his third year in the league. And the Kansas City Chiefs are headed to the Super Bowl for the first time in 50 years. Wow. No pressure!

Quarterback honorable mentions go to several star quarterbacks, including first runner up Lamar Jackson, who had a phenomenal regular season, but now he’s home watching TV along with Deshaun Watson. Tom Brady, Russell Wilson and Drew Brees all had early playoff exits, and Dak Prescott and Jared Goff didn’t even make the playoffs this year. Go figure.

That leaves Patrick Mahomes and Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers star quarterback, in Super Bowl LIV.

But Garoppolo, while a steady, reliable QB, hasn’t risen to the ranks of super- stardom yet. Mahomes has. And in this year’s playoffs, he’s played lights out, especially when his team needed him most. The Chiefs were down by 20 to the Houston Texans last week in the NFL Playoffs Divisional round, yet Mahomes rallied his troops to come back from near death and pulled out a 51 – 31 victory that will not soon be forgotten. And the Chiefs were down 17 -7 to the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game only to rally and win 35 – 24.

The AFC and NFC Championship Games featured the reigning Statefarm commercial QB’s, Mahomes in the AFC and Rodgers in the NFC. Even though they didn’t’ play head to head, a casual comparison reveals that Mahomes outmatched and out dueled and flat out outplayed Aaron Rodgers. The comparative level of play wasn’t even close. At one point, the 49ers were beatin’ up and beatin’ down the Packers 27 – 0. Yeash! The Packers scored some garbage time points just to make the final score a reasonably respectable 37 – 20.

Jimmy Garoppolo played well, but not as well as Mahomes. And the Chiefs and 49ers have solid defensive units, so the big game may well be won on the offensive side of the ball.

And so there you have it. Mahomes is at the peak of his game, and the Chiefs are playing like a true team. And good things happen when good teams play as a team. And from all appearances, both the Chiefs and 49ers are playing like there’s no tomorrow.

So my sister’s and brothers, let’s play as a team. Let’s all pull together and pray together and stay together, and leave the results to Heaven.

Why Philly Fans Are So Excited!

Ben Simmons Dribbling

Giddy and giggly, exuberant and expectant can’t come close to describing the state of Philly fans everywhere, but these descriptive words are the best we can do. Philly fans are currently in a near state of euphoria.  And you know why.

Sports in Philly has gotten superciliously silly.  First, our Eagles won the NFC Championship Game in grand fashion and are going to the Super Bowl! Not the Cowboys, nor the Falcons and not the Vikings. The Eagles, baby!

Sports Fans in Philly are over the moon.  And for good reason.  The Eagles are going to the Super Bowl. Did I say that already?  The Super Bowl!  The defense looks great and Foles has never played better. So all systems are go and all hopes are riding on the faith that Foles and the “D” can do it again, and against the vaunted, New England Patriots, at that.

And, to make matters even better, our beloved Sixers are the hottest team in the NBA, next to the Golden State Warriors.  Both teams are 8-2 in January. Eight and Two! Ben Simmons, everyone’s favoirte for Rookie of the Year, is playing lights out and racking up triple doubles night after night. AND, the cherry on top of it all is that Joel Embiid is an NBA All Star Game starter!  Wow. 

Now, we just need the Flyers and the Phillies to step up to the plate and hit home runs, too.

So here’s a message to all Philly fans everywhere; let’s learn another life lesson. Let’s learn to be moderate and temperate, even keeled and steady handed at all times and in every circumstance. Let’s learn to endure the hard times (we have) and enjoy the good times (we are) and not get too excited or overly extended in our behavior.

Oops – too late!

Do The Eagles Have a Date with Destiny?

Eagles Nelson Agholor

The Philadelphia Eagles dominated the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship Game and are now on their way to the Super Bowl in Minneapolis. How ironic is that? 

Now the Eagles will face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII  and seem to be a team of destiny. Picked as underdogs AT HOME, the Eagles flipped the script and became the best NFL underdogs ever.

They said they were the worst team in the 2017 playoffs. They said that they couldn’t win without Wentz. And they all said better luck next year. The Eagles were the No. 1 Seed in the playoffs but no one, and I mean NO ONE outside of Philly gave them a chance. But Nick Foles and the Eagles shocked the football world and won the NFC Championship Game in convincing fashion to give the City of Brotherly Love another chance to win a Super Bowl.

“It was an accepted truth that if the Eagles were to win, it would have to be in rugged, low-scoring fashion. The two defenses were expected to turn the game into a field-position battle as the backup quarterbacks, Foles and Case Keenum, plinked about the field and did what they could with limited opportunity.”   Not so.

So much for the expected, or the probable. We have been transported into the land of the unexpected, where a largely immobile backup can have a career day that and shred the best defense in football.  And what about that Philly Defense!

So, I ask you, are the Eagles a team of destiny?

Destiny is defined as purpose, calling and future.  The Eagles had a storybook season with their storybook quarterback, Carson Wentz. Without him, they said the story was all but over and they would need a miracle. With their trusted but recently untested back up, Nick Foles, the Eagles entered the playoffs needing the miraculous to have a storybook ending. A dominating 38-7 whupping of the Vikings is not a bad start to a glorious finish.

And so far, they’ve got one. As they say, so far, so good. We’ve got one win to go.

Eagles-rout-the-vikings

 Go Eagles!

The Minnesota Miracle

NFL: NFC Divisional Playoff-New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings

Sometimes, you just need a miracle. You only have 25 seconds left to win the game? No problem. The game was gone; done and won (and lost), just like that.

Gone In 25 Seconds! That’s how fast the lead left the hands of the New Orleans Saints. Drew Brees had just led his team to a potential game winning field goal to make the score 24-23 with just 25 ticks remaining on the clock. And what can you do with 25 seconds? Just ask Minnesota’s NFC Championship Game bound quarterback Case Keenum.

Talk about a stunner. The glory of this victory was nearly overshadowed by the agony and misery of the defeat. Keenum and Minnesota won, then lost and then won this game all over again. And Drew Brees lost, won, and then lost it for good.  It was one for the ages. How could this have happened? Why did it happen? And when it happened, all watching, victors and vanquished alike, were asking “What just happened?”

If you didn’t see it, you missed an overwhelming and awe-inspiring, crushing and humiliating, fantastic finish.  It was delightful and demoralizing, delirious and deleterious, depending on which color jersey you were wearing. The Vikings won on the final play of the game. With the clock winding down and the Vikings out of timeouts, Case Keenum found wide receiver Stefon Diggs for a 61-yard touchdown as the clock struck zeros.

It’s being called the Miracle In Minnesota. Keenum had the ball in his hands in the final moments and orchestrated a major miracle. Keenum threw a pin-point pass to Diggs, who came down with it behind the New Orleans secondary, stayed on his feet and stayed in bounds, then streaked into the end zone as the Vikes stayed in the hunt for that elusive Super Bowl title. Diggs finished the game with six receptions for 137 yards, with his late snag on Sunday launching him into Vikings lore.

Minnesota jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the game on a pair of rushing touchdowns by their running back tandem of Jerick McKinnon and Latavius Murray. The two combined for 84 yards on 27 carries, outrushing the dynamic Saints duo of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.

Drew Brees was a maestro for New Orleans, orchestrating a second half comeback with three touchdown passes. New Orleans had taken a 24-23 lead with less than a minute to play as Wil Lutz drilled a 43-yard field goal to put the team ahead, erasing a 17-0 deficit. There were four lead changes in the final four minutes alone, with the Vikings having the ball.

The Vikings move on to play the Philadelphia Eagles next weekend in the NFC Championship Game. The winner will move on the Super Bowl to face either the New England Patriots or Jacksonville Jaguars.

But you all know who you should be rooting for, right?

Go Eagles!

Don’t Jinx It!

Carson Wentz

“A jinx is a little like a magical spell, specifically to make something go wrong. It’s often used to refer to something good that is hoped will happen, but that might not happen if you talk about it in advance. A common phrase is, ‘Don’t jinx it by talking about it.’” https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/dont-jinx-it.314008/

But do Christians believe in jinx’s? I hope not! People of faith don’t believe in magic or spells or tricks or illusions. Our faith is not founded upon fortune; we believe in Providence and purpose and can’t possibly believe in lot or luck, right? We believe in destiny not chance; we believe in a big God that has forethought and foresight, and not an unplanned and unintentional big bang.

The world says that fate is when something is meant to be. But does that work in sports?  This season, the Kansas City Chiefs were once 4-0 and then 6-2, and at one point. And everybody, and I do mean everybody, was ready to crown them champs! But they’ve lost 3 in a row. They started hot but have cooled off and amazingly enough they’re still holding on to first place in the AFC West. But the Chiefs are the only team that has defeated my Eagles, and now Philly is 10-1. TEN and one!

So those who are not so sure that the Eagles are Super Bowl bound collectively say, “Don’t jinx it.” Don’t talk about the Eagles going to the Super Bowl until we actually get closer to the Super Bowl.  But I beg to differ. A jinx is not biblical. So I can’t buy into that mentality.  But I can say that we need not get to giddy or too gabby about how good these Birds really are (and they are really good!).There’s still five games left in the regular season, and then there’s December football and then there’s the playoffs. 

Christians have argued about predestination and foreordination for centuries. It all boils down to this: fate is the world’s version of Providence. God is does hold the whole world in His hands, but we do have a part to play. It’s called faith and works.  So that’s why I believe that you can predict your future fate.

Fate is an event (or a course of events) that will inevitably happen in the future. Fate is the ultimate agency that predetermines the course of events (often personified as a woman).  And fate is your overall circumstances or condition in life (including everything that happens to you). So we don’t believe in fate, per se. We have faith in our efforts and energy and labor and lifework. So if I believe and achieve, I can expect to receive.  And so can the Eagles.

So don’t worry about jinxing it for the Eagles. Carson Wentz is the real deal, and he has enough faith for the whole team, if not the entire City of Brotherly Love.  Just don’t count your chickens before they hatch.  The Eagles still have to play the games, and we’ll be keeping score.

 

Go Eagles!

Follow the Leader: Brady or Rodgers or Ryan or Roethlisberger?

aaron-rodgers-6

So who ya got? Which quarterback is better? Which quarterback will advance and carry and lead his team on to the Super Bowl?  Brady is Brady, and Rodgers is Rodgers (did you see that finish?) and Roethlisberger can’t be counted out. But what about Ryan?

Ryan is the presumptive MVP, but how can you bet against Brady?  And after Rodgers did what he did in Dallas, how can you bet against Rodgers?

Because it’s all about leadership. Everything, and I mean everything, rises and falls on leadership. For me, I need Heaven to lead me and guide me and instruct me in the way that I need to go. Because without a leader, you’re lost. You’re a ship without a sail and a plane without wings. Without an executive director or a chief officer, one who rules and guides and inspires us on and up and forward, we won’t win a thing.

So who ya got? A Brady/Rodgers Super Bowl would be just dandy. As for me, Rodgers has the hot hand and he may well win it all.

Wham, Bam, Thank You Cam!

cam-newton-slapping hands

Cam Newton is for real. I mean, for real, for real. He’s certainly not a one and done deal, or a one night stand, that’s for sure. They way things are going for him, Cam should shine in the NFL for a long, long time.

In the NFC Championship Game yesterday, he lead his Carolina Panthers to an annihilation of the Arizona Cardinals, the No. 2 team in the NFC, 49-15, and as they say, it wasn’t that close. The Panthers won by 34 points, and they didn’t let up in the second half like they did against the Seahawks to leave little to no question about how good they really are.

Cam is a ham. Yes he is. He runs the inside rim of the stadium after games and slaps hands with the fans, and he celebrates after touchdowns more than most.  But when you beat up and beat down your opponent like he beat Arizona, you feel that you have the right to flaunt and to taunt, even if you’re not supposed to. The domination was so bad that it was like a crucifixion, and as crucifixions go, it wasn’t pretty. But Cam the ham is the fruit of Cam being the sacrificial lamb.

At one point in his career, Cam was in a jam. Or two. He’s worked his way back from being kicked off of one team and playing for another unknown junior college team to winning the Heisman Trophy to being the No. 1 Draft Pick in the NFL to being on the verge of winning the Super Bowl. At age 26. So before you damn and sham Cam, walk a mile in his shoes.

On November 21, 2008, Newton was arrested for receiving stolen property after purchasing a stolen laptop computer from another University of Florida student. He was subsequently suspended from the team after the laptop was found to be in his possession.

In January 2009, Newton transferred to Blinn College in Brenham, Texas, to play for head coach Brad Franchione, son of Dennis Franchione. That fall he led his team to the 2009 NJCAA National Football Championship, throwing for 2,833 yards with 22 touchdowns and rushing for 655 yards. He was named a Junior College (juco) All-America honorable mention and was the most recruited juco quarterback in the country.

Then Auburn “came a calling,” and Cam went on to win the Heisman and the National Championship. The Tigers beat Oregon 22–19 to win the BCS National Championship in 2011. Newton threw for 262 yards, 2 touchdowns, and one interception. He also rushed 22 times for 65 yards, though he lost a fumble that later allowed Oregon to tie the game with limited time remaining. Once Auburn got the ball back, Newton drove the Tigers down the field to win the game on Wes Byrum’s last-second field goal.

One major story of the next two weeks leading up to the Panthers’ shot at a Lombardi Trophy against the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl L will be how much people hate him. That’s been the case throughout his career, from those who saw him as an inevitable bust to those who resent his “antics” and his celebrations. But guess what? That shouldn’t be a surprise to Cam.

In the game of life, we all have haters and helpers, supporters and detractors. Cam’s got critics and skeptics as well as backers and boosters. You can’t have one without the other. It’s just like that. So the lesson is, just get used to it. Cam recognizes that everyone is not in his corner, but that does not faze him or raze him or daze him. Good for him.

Cam has risen and rocketed to sports stardom after being kicked to the curb and thrown from the train. And as heroes go, he’s garnered faithful fans and frightful foes along the way. Yet through it all, he has not bowed to the pressure of doubt but has allowed the force of his faith, and the attacks of his allies and his antagonists alike, to fuel his fire.

Go Cam.