*NFL WEEK 11 (2020 Season)

It is always good to head into Dallas week with a victory under our belt, and what a satisfying victory it was. 

I have been saying for weeks now, hell, I said back in September that Alex Smith was the best option we had at quarterback. Nevertheless, it’s clear to everyone now, especially the coaching staff, that Smith is their guy for the rest of the season. Next season, he should remain with Washington as we draft another young quarterback or continue to groom Haskins into the starting job. 

Our defense sometimes baffles me; they should be a lot more dominant than what they have shown, especially with the depth of talent in the linebacker and defensive front. Ryan Kerrigan has to be more involved, and they should just go ahead and sign Eric Reid and improve our secondary so we can finish up the season strong. 

Kendall Fuller and Ronald Darby had an excellent game; I hope this combination becomes consistently productive. 

The Cowboys are feeling pretty great right now after their unexpected victory over Minnesota. Dallas was able to get their running game going with both Ezekiel Elliot and Tony Pollard, which opened up their passing game a bit. However, I don’t see them capable of running the ball on Washington as effectively as they were against Minnesota, and our defense has already shown that it can rattle Andy Dalton. 

This Thanksgiving game should be fireworks, and the winner will take first place in the division. Bring on Dallas!!! 

WFT 20 — BENGALS 9:

And for the rest of the league…..

EAGLES 17 — BROWNS 22:

Carson Wentz is slowly playing his way out of Philly, and Jalen Hurts might be finishing up the season if Wentz gets benched at some point. The Eagles have squandered their division lead, and now Dallas or Washington are poised to take over first place in NFC EAST. The Browns are playing for their post-season life at this point; they have to win some crucial divisional games. Week 14 game against Baltimore could decide their playoff fate.

COWBOYS 31 — VIKINGS 28:

Minnesota’s winning streak came to an end in a hard-fought game, and now their playoff path gets muddy. Dallas played their best and most balanced game this season, but I doubt they can sustain this momentum against Washington.

CHIEFS 35 — RAIDERS 31:

This AFC WEST rivalry is officially back and relevant again. The Raiders took Kansas city to the brink of defeat, but Patrick Mahomes connected with Kelce for the game-winning touchdown with just a few seconds left. The Chiefs are now 9-1 and take on Tom Brady and the Bucs next Sunday, which should be an exciting game to watch. The Raiders are still pretty much alive for a wildcard spot, and their remaining schedule is not too difficult to overcome. 

SEAHAWKS 28 — CARDINALS 21:

Another thrilling game between these two divisional rivals; Seattle took a big step towards the post-season, and their remaining schedule seems easy enough to get them close to a playoff spot. Arizona is still within striking distance of the playoffs, but they need to win some divisional games and hope for Seattle and LA to slip a bit. 

RAMS 27 — BUCCANEERS 24:

The Rams took first place in the NFC WEST, although they still have a bunch of divisional games left in their schedule — the way their defense is playing, it seems like they could very well end up on top of the division by the end of the season. Tampa Bay could not get their running game going and relied heavily on their passing game, which was inconsistent for most of the night. Brady threw two costly interceptions that pretty much sealed their fate. The Buccaneers have a date with Patrick Mahomes next Sunday; old dog vs. new dog. I cannot wait for this game. 

TEXANS 27 — PATRIOTS 20:

Cam Newton is the only reason New England has remained relevant this season, but it may not be enough to get them over the hump into the playoffs. The Patriots are in real danger of not making the post-season for the first time in almost a decade. Romeo Crennel got himself a nice victory over his old boss. The Texans have a lot of talent, and despite all the damage Bill O’Brien caused them with his insane player transactions, Houston should be looking forward to next season and a brand new start.

BRONCOS 20 — DOLPHINS 13:

Denver had the upset game of the entire NFL weekend. Melvin Gordon had a solid game on the ground with 2 TDs. Tua struggled throughout the game and was benched in the fourth quarter. Miami has two easy games back to back before heading into a tough final four-game stretch. I’m curious to see if Denver can duplicate this defensive performance against Taysom Hill and New Orleans next Sunday. 

SAINTS 24 — FALCONS 9:

Taysom Hill had himself a pretty great game throwing for over 200 yards and rushing for 2 TDs. The Saints should be in good shape while Drew Brees recovers. Atlanta has a tough schedule ahead with one winnable game. The Falcons have some deep house cleaning to do in the offseason. 

TITANS 30 — RAVENS 24:

This game went into overtime, and Tennessee relied on Derrick Henry running the ball into victory. Baltimore continues to lose against teams with winning records, and besides playing the 10-0 Steelers next week, Baltimore’s remaining schedule looks easy enough to have a shot at the playoffs. The Titans are 7-3, tied with Indianapolis for the AFC South and just one game behind within the division. 

COLTS 34 — PACKERS 31:

Another thrilling game that went into overtime. Aaron Rodgers could not pull another overtime clutch signature victory. The Packers are still on top of the NFC NORTH and should remain on top since Minnesota and Chicago are inconsistent from week to week. 

CHARGERS 34 — NY JETS 28:

The Jets showed some fight in this game, but Joe Flacco struggled to get things going with his receivers. On the other hand, Justin Herbert had an excellent game, throwing for over 300 yards with 3 TDs. The remaining schedule for NY looks extremely difficult, and there is a pretty good chance that they will end up 0-16 and with the number 1 overall draft pick in 2021. 

STEELERS 27 — JAGUARS 3:

Pittsburgh is now 10-0 and very likely to finish the season undefeated. Jacksonville is just a sad, pathetic team, and they are lucky to have one victory this season. 

PANTHERS 20 — LIONS 0:

PJ Walker got his first NFL start, and his first NFL win. Carolina was efficient and controlled this game from start to finish. Detroit has some tough decisions to make regarding their coaching staff in the offseason.

*MOVIE RECAP: MY NAME IS EMILY

Embarrassed to admit that until recently, I had never heard about this movie — And of all the films that I watched during the lockdown, My Name is Emily was one of the most enjoyable movie-watching experiences.

There are so many small independent films out there just waiting to be seen — and I am always on the lookout for under-seen films like this one. Not all independent movies are good — there are plenty of hits and misses out there. However, My Name is Emily is definitely not one of those misses. Interestingly enough, this film was made possible through a successful crowdfunding campaign.

Sadly, the director, Simon Fitzmaurice, passed away shortly after the film was released. He directed this film from a wheelchair in a quadriplegic state, paralyzed by motor-neuron disease. He knew he was dying when he made it, which added a unique sensitivity to it when I watched it.

My Name is Emily is essentially a coming of age story. Emily (Evanna Lynch) is a loner and viewed as an outcast in school. She lives with foster parents after her father, Robert (Michael Smiley), was committed to a mental facility and has given away his parental rights to Emily’s custody. She mourns her dead mother deeply and flirts with the idea of suicide. The flashback scenes with Emily’s mother (Deidre Mullins) are very touching.

Emily recruits her schoolmate Arden (George Webster) to run away with her and head out on the road to breakout Emily’s father from a mental facility. The road trip through the gorgeous Irish landscape is visually stunning. The dialogue and the characters are well written.

Evanna Lynch has come a long way since her Harry Potter days. She has a strong presence on screen and projects a unique and natural sensibility by entirely owning this character.

Death and grieving is a huge part of this movie. I have a profound appreciation for films that attempt to deal with real human emotions like grief. My Name is Emily is a lovely and heartwarming Irish Indie film that deals with some heavy emotional content and manages to reach some high marks. It was a delight to watch.

Three out of Five Popcorn Bags 🍿🍿🍿

MY NAME IS EMILY (2015)

*NFL WEEK 10 (2020 Season)

Heartbreaking loss. We lost by a field goal with a handful of seconds left in the game. It was the worst defensive game of the year. Chase Young drew a crucial roughing the passer penalty on Matthew Stafford, giving Detroit enough yardage to put them on field goal range and win the game. A missed field goal and a fumble by McLaurin came back to haunt the final score for Washington. Dustin Hopkins is becoming way too inconsistent, and it costs us valuable points in close games. 

However, for the first time so far this season, the offense looked balanced and more effective in controlling the time of possession. Alex Smith is by far the best quarterback on our roster, and this game made that clear. The offense moves better with Smith, and he seems to have a good handle for Scott Turner’s offense. It makes you wonder what our record would’ve been if Smith had started sooner. 

Next for the Football Team is Joe Burrow and the Bengals. This should be a very winnable game for us, and we got to start winning games against teams with losing records.

WFT 20 — LIONS 23:

And for the rest of the league…..

NY GIANTS 27 — EAGLES 17:

Philly had a stinker of a game. Carson Wentz broke his 8 game streak of at least one interception per game but failed to score any TDs. The Eagles are still on top of the NFC EAST, but they have a tough schedule ahead of them. The Giants are climbing out their bottom feeder hole and making a run at this division. 

RAMS 23 — SEAHAWKS 16:

The Rams’ defense made things difficult for Russell Wilson, got themselves a huge divisional win to get to 6-3, and are now at second place behind Arizona. The Seahawks play Arizona Thursday night for what should be another thrilling game like their previous encounter. The NFC WEST is the most exciting division in the NFL.

RAIDERS 37 — BRONCOS 12:

Las Vegas Raiders have quietly risen to top contender status in the AFC. They are now 6-3, and next Sundays’ game against Kansas City should be pure fireworks for these two divisional rivals. The Raiders already have a win over the Chiefs this season, so sweeping them would be massive for Vegas and their playoff aspirations. Denver has not been able to put together a competitive roster to compete in the AFC WEST, and their remaining schedule is pretty tough, which would put them in a great spot to draft one of those top quarterbacks coming out on the 2021 NFL draft. 

CARDINALS 32 — BILLS 30:

The thrilling last-second touchdown Hail Mary pass throw from Kyler Murray to Deandre Hopkins was straight out of a Hollywood movie. These teams are two of the most dynamic duos in the NFL, and it did not disappoint. Buffalo dropped to 7-3 and stayed one game ahead of Miami in the AFC EAST. Murray is the most exciting player to watch in the NFL. The Cardinals have to play Russell Wilson and Cam Newton in the next two weeks — those two are must-watch games. 

PATRIOTS 23 — RAVENS 17:

Cam Newton had himself a solid game with 2 scores; throwing for one and rushing for another. New England is 4-5 and mathematically still pretty much in the hunt for the AFC EAST. They play Houston next with the chance to turn their season around. Baltimore has lost some ground for a wildcard spot, and at 6-3 for the season, it seems like catching up to Pittsburgh is highly unlikely. The Ravens have a challenging home game against Tennessee next Sunday. 

BROWNS 10 — TEXANS 7:

The Texans had nothing offensively to make this even competitive. Houston struggle both throwing and running the ball; they have to address their running game during the offseason. The damage Bill O’Brien has caused for this Houston team is alarming. Cleveland has a running game, which was the difference-maker in this game. The Browns are tied at second place in the AFC NORTH with Baltimore. A wildcard spot is within reach for Cleveland. 

STEELERS 36 — BENGALS 10:

The Steelers destroyed Cincinnati and brought Pittsburgh to 9-0 for the season. The way their schedule looks, Pittsburgh seems likely to finish the season at 16-0; their toughest test would be on week 14 against Buffalo. 

DOLPHINS 29 — CHARGERS 21:

The Dolphins are officially relevant and are now 6-3, in second place and one game behind Buffalo in the AFC EAST. Tua seems to be transitioning into the starting job smoothly and providing stability to their quarterback position, which Miami hasn’t had since Dan Marino retired over 20 years ago. The Chargers are essentially playing for next season and building around Justin Herbert, who has clearly established himself as the future for the LA Chargers. 

SAINTS 27 — 49ERS 13:

Drew Brees had a hard time throwing the ball in this game, but Alvin Kamara and New Orleans running game was the key to put away this decimated San Francisco team. The saints seem to have the NFC SOUTH lockdown, and they already swept their closest rival, Tampa Bay. 

BUCCANEERS 46 — PANTHERS 23:

After being embarrassed by New Orleans last week, Tom Brady had an excellent rebound game, throwing 3 TDs for over 300 years and zero interceptions. The next three games for Tampa Bay are against outstanding defenses that consistently bring pressure to opposing quarterbacks — looking forward to seeing how the Bucs figure out ways to protect Brady better. The Panthers had an excellent first half of this game, but they were outscored 30-7 in the second half. Carolina is obviously not the same without McCaffrey. 

VIKINGS 19 — BEARS 13:

Kirk Cousins finally won his Monday Night Football game. Minnesota has put together 3 straight wins, and with Dallas ahead next week, they should easily get to 4 consecutive wins. Chicago has a lot of problems to address in the offense; Nick Foles is by far their best option currently at quarterback. Maybe they’ll draft a QB next year to develop him into a future starter; nevertheless, they have to upgrade their talent in the offense. 

PACKERS 24 — JAGUARS 20:

Jacksonville made this game closer than it should have been. It took a 4th quarter touchdown to put away this feisty Jaguars team. The remainder of the NFL schedule for Jacksonville is against tough teams chasing playoff spots. The Packers had a hard time putting away Jacksonville, and with this win, they get to 7-2 and remain on top of the NFC NORTH. Next week they take on the Colts, who are also currently on top of their division.

COLTS 34 — TITANS 17:

Indianapolis seems to be getting hotter every week, and now they are tied with Tennessee at 6-3 for the division. The Colts have a tougher schedule in front of them, so this divisional victory is massive. Tennessee has a crucial game next week against Baltimore for their playoff chances.

*NFL WEEK 9 (2020 Season)

Clumsy football was our downfall here. We did not seem ready to play — this was a crucial game against a divisional team that has already beaten us. This game was a complete debacle, a disappointing loss. 

We lost Kyle Allen mid-way through the game to an ankle injury. Alex Smith came in and finished off the game; Smith looked better than the last time he played in week 5. He looked healthy enough and showed flashes of better quarterback play than what we had in Haskins and Allen. I think it is the right call from Rivera to go with Alex Smith forward as the starter — He gives us a better chance to put together some wins. We are mathematically still alive, and I feel a lot more confident with Smith under center. 

WFT 20 — NY GIANTS 23:

And for the rest of the league…..

DALLAS 19 — STEELERS 24:

I feel this perverse joy when the Cowboys lose — Dallas is a complete disaster this season, and it will only worsen. Pittsburgh is 8-0 this season, and by looking at their remaining schedule, I can honestly see them going 16-0. The Steelers should be the absolute favorite to win the whole thing.

PATRIOTS 30 — NY JETS 27:

The Jets were seconds away from winning their first game of the season, but they could not stop Cam Newton from owning the 4th quarter and bringing New England back from a 10 point deficit. Looking at the schedule for New York, it doesn’t look good for them, and going 0-16 is a strong possibility. Next Sunday should be an exciting match up between Cam Newton and Lamar Jackson. 

DOLPHINS 34 — CARDINALS 31:

This was a duel of two young guns and what most analysts refer to as the future of professional football. Kyler Murray and Tua Tagavalloa had fantastic stats to show for and made this one of the most exciting games this season. Miami is now in second place at 5-3, right behind Buffalo in the AFC EAST. Arizona is tied for second place with the Rams. Both of these teams seem to be playoff-bound. 

VIKINGS 34 — LIONS 20:

Nobody seems able to stop Dalvin Cook; He had another monster game where he ran for over 200 yards with 2 TDs. Kirk Cousins also had a productive game with 3 TDs and no interceptions. Now Minnesota has put together back to back wins, and both wins are within the division — The Vikings play Chicago next, which has the makings of a make or break game for both teams. Despite losing, Detroit still very much alive in the division, and next Sunday, the play my Washington Football team — we are desperate for a win to keep our playoff hopes alive.

RAIDERS 31 — CHARGERS 26:

The stats don’t show much for Deek Carr, but he had a pretty good game throwing 2 TDs with zero interceptions. The Raiders are 5-3 and play Denver next Sunday, a must-win divisional game for this Vegas team trying to have a shot at the playoffs. The Chargers suffered another heartbreaking loss. Justine Herbert had another tremendous game, throwing for over 300 yards with 2 TDs and zero interceptions. LA takes on Miami next Sunday, and if the losing continues, it would probably signal the end for Anthony Lynn as the Chargers Head Coach. The Raiders have a chance to sweep Kansas City next Sunday and inch closer to a playoff spot. 

SAINTS 38 — BUCCANEERS 3: 

New Orleans and Drew Bress owned Tom Brady. The Bucs got swept for the season in what was their worst game of the season. Tampa Bay’s defense was utterly dominated, and although their offense had some impressive drives, they could not come up with any points. The Saints seem poised to win the NFC SOUTH division, and Tampa needs to figure some things out if they plan to make a run in the playoffs. 

PACKERS 34 —49ERS 17:

Green Bay looked like a completely different team against a decimated 49ers team. Aaron Rodgers threw for over 300 yards with 4 TDs and zero picks. The Packers are now 6-3, but Chicago and even Minnesota are still very much in the hunt for the division title. San Francisco is struggling to keep their starters healthy and now find themselves at 4-5 at the bottom of the NFC WEST, and a very tough schedule is ahead of them.

TEXANS 27 — JAGUARS 25:

Houston has their second win of the season against one of the worst teams in the NFL. But a win is a win, and as talented as Houston’s roster is, they should make things difficult for all the opposing teams in their remaining schedule. Jacksonville is a mess, and they will probably clean house yet again in the offseason.

BILLS 44 — SEAHAWKS 34:

Massive win for Buffalo. Josh Allen was excellent, throwing for over 400 yards with 3 TDs and zero interceptions. Russell Wilson continues to try way too hard at times and throws costly interceptions. Seattle has many things to fix defensively if they plan to win the highly competitive NFC WEST. 

TITANS 24 — BEARS 17:

After back to back losses, Tennessee survived a late 4th quarter rally from Chicago to get to 6-2 for the season and keep a one-game lead on Indianapolis in the AFC SOUTH. The Bears should be concerned at this point; they are now 5-4, and a resurgent Minnesota is next in the schedule. Chicago has got to get better on offense fast; Nick Foles needs more weapons. 

RAVENS 24 — COLTS 10:

The Colts defense held Lamar Jackson off for most of the game. Still, combining a couple of catastrophic mistakes on offense and a wore down defense ended up costing Indianapolis the game. The Colts find themselves one game behind Tennessee in the AFC SOUTH, so next Sunday’s game against the Titans should be a fascinating game to watch. 

CHIEFS 33 — PANTHERS 31:

Carolina was within reach of winning this game, going toe to toe with Kansas City, where Terry Bridgewater had a fantastic game with over 300 yards passing with 2 TDs and zero picks. However, Patrick Mahomes also had another impressive game, throwing for over 300 yards with 4 TDs and zero picks. Carolina managed to control the running game from Kansas City, but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Chiefs high-scoring offense. Carolina has an important date with Tom Brady this coming Sunday and a chance to get out of the bottom of their NFC SOUTH division. The Chiefs will try to avoid getting swept by the Las Vegas Raiders next Sunday. 

FALCONS 34 — BRONCOS 27:

Atlanta has found a new lifeline since dumping Dan Quinn and now find themselves at 3-6, sitting firm in third place in the NFC SOUTH. And at this point in the season is highly unlikely that they would put together enough wins to catch up to Tampa Bay or New Orleans. Denver is 3-5 and mathematically still in it, but reality and their tough schedule say otherwise.

*NFL WEEK 8 (2020 Season)

My Washington Football Team had a much needed week off to rest up and prepare for what essentially will be the second half of the season. At this point in the 2020 NFL season, everybody in the NFC EAST is mathematically alive. And although it is a terrible division, the storyline is fascinating. 

We play the NY Giants this coming Sunday for what could be a make or break game for both these two teams. We already lost to NY once this season by 1 point on a failed two-point conversion. I still think it was the wrong decision from Rivera. We have to avoid getting swept by Daniel Jones and company; our team is way better than NY, and we should win this game. 

Bring on NY Giants!! 

And for the rest of the league…..

EAGLES 23 — COWBOYS 9:

It is such a delight to be witnessing Dallas fall apart, and they are imploding right before our eyes. The Eagles struggled to put this terrible Dallas team away. Carson Wentz threw 2 TDs and 2 interceptions against a subpar Dallas defense. Philadelphia is 3-4-1, and now they find themselves temporarily on top of the NFC EAST. Washington will have a chance to take the lead in the next few weeks. 

BUCCANEERS 25 — NY GIANTS 23:

Tom Brady struggled to put this game away early; it took a 4th quarter TD and a field goal to secure the win. This NY Giants team is playing much better than their record suggests. 

VIKINGS 28 — PACKERS 22:

Dalvin Cook torched Green Bay with 163 yards rushing and 63 receiving with a total of 4 TDs for the day. This was a HUGE win for Minnesota, and they have another make or break divisional game next week against Detroit. Aaron Rodgers could not bring Green Bay back for another last-minute 4th quarter comeback. Tough loss for the Packers, at least, for now, they are still on top of the NFC NORTH at 5-2. 

RAIDERS 16 — BROWNS 6:

The weather made things difficult for both of these offenses, limiting both teams to only field goals. Derek Carr finally threw his first and only TD in the 4th quarter, and Baker Mayfield had nothing to show for. The Raiders are now 4-3 and in second place next to Kansas City in the AFC WEST.

BILLS 24 — PATRIOTS 21:

Sports media crowned Belicheater as “the greatest coach” of all time. Nonsense and this season is proof that Tom Brady was the reason New England was a contender every year. Cam Newton seems a little off when throwing the ball; maybe lingering effects from Covid has something to do with it. Buffalo is on top of the AFC EAST at 6-2, and New England is no longer the team to beat in the AFC. 

CHIEFS 35 — NY JETS 9:

Patrick Mahomes had himself another killer game, throwing for over 400 yards with 5 TDs. The NY Jets are a disaster, seating at 0-8 and making a case for the #1 overall draft pick in the 2021 NFL draft. 

SAINTS 26 — BEARS 23:

This game went into overtime, and it took a field goal with about a minute left in overtime to put this game away. Nick Foles played a decent game but seems to be missing a piece or two on offense to become a legitimate contender. The Saints have a box office game coming up against Tom Brady and Tampa Bay, which would most likely define the NFC SOUTH division leader and eventual champion.

FALCONS 25 — PANTHERS 17:

Atlanta has now won 2 games, and as insane as it sounds, the Falcons are still not out of it. Carolina is also still alive, but they have a tough road ahead. Christian McCaffrey should be back by next Sunday. 

BENGALS 31 — TITANS 20:

Joe Burrow and the Bengals shocked the NFL world by beating one of the league’s best defenses. Tennessee has lost two games in a row, and maybe we were all too quick to crown them as the super Bowl favorites from the AFC. 

SEAHAWKS 37 — 49ERS 27:

San Francisco has been ravaged by injuries this season, and despite losing this game, they still find themselves alive in the NFC WEST at 4-4. Russell Wilson redeemed himself from the Arizona game by not throwing any picks against the 49ers. DK Metcalf was unstoppable with 12 receptions for 161 yards and 2 TDs. Seattle has a challenging game coming up next against Josh Allen and the Bills.

COLTS 41 — LIONS 21:

Phillip Rivers had a productive game with 3 TDs and zero picks. Now, the Colts find themselves tied in first place with the Titans, but they need to win some divisional games to overtake Tennessee. The Lions have an intriguing divisional game against Minnesota coming up Sunday. The Vikings will try to make things interesting in the NFC NORTH by winning back to back games. Meanwhile, a Detroit win will keep the Lions relevant in the division. 

STEELERS 28 — RAVENS 24:

Pittsburgh is now 7-0, and they have quietly become Super Bowl contenders, although sports media talking heads don’t seem too impressed with their record. Lamar Jackson continues to make costly mistakes and struggles when facing good teams. The Steelers are 2-0 against their division and looks to be running away with the AFC NORTH.

DOLPHINS 28 — RAMS 17:

Tua made his debut, but besides throwing for one TD, he did virtually nothing else. Miami is surprisingly in second place at 4-3 and no longer a bottom feeder of the AFC EAST. The Dolphins defense made things difficult for Jared Goff, who threw 2 interceptions and 1 TD; the Rams are 5-3 and in third place in the highly competitive NFC WEST.

BRONCOS 31 — CHARGERS 30:

Another game that the Chargers let slip away. The only silver lining for LA is that QB Justin Herbert continues to impress and their future at the QB position is secure. The Chargers’ defense cannot stop anybody, and they will continue to lose close games like this one until they make vast defensive improvements and upgrades. Surprisingly, Denver is 3-4 and one game behind second-place Raiders in the AFC WEST. I guess it is not far fetched to imagine Denver making a wildcard spot run. Although highly unlikely, still possible.