By Chip Kuehn: Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler is hoping he can play next Monday night in the Bears game against the Dallas Cowboys, but he’s still waiting to receive medical clearance from the team doctors before he can know for sure if he’ll place. Cutler, 30, has a high ankle sprain that has kept him out of the lineup for the last couple of games.
Cutler said this about his ankle problem on ESPN 1000 “Getting better. Still got to talk to the doctors, gotta go through some stuff this week. I still fight like I’m gonna get back here really soon. I want to play. It’s just the trainers and doctors are going through the scenario we’ve got to go through.” Read more
By Greg Aspen: The Denver Broncos signed free agent wide receiver Wes Welker thinking that he would be a good fit with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning and that he’d quickly become the Broncos leading receiver, but it’s becoming apparent that Eric Decker is becoming the go to guy for Peyton Maning on pass plays rather than Welker.
While Decker may not have quite as many catches as Welker does as of yet wit him catching 63 to Welker’s 68, Decker’s catching more and more passes from Manning and having big games like the one last Sunday where Decker caught 9 throws for 174 yards and 4 touchdowns. In the same game, Welker caught 3 balls for 38 yards. Read more
By Jay Kilby: New York Jets quarterback Geno Smith is no longer having a season as bad as Mark Sanchez did in his opening season back in 2009. Geno has gone past that mediocrity to where he’s heading towards the horrible seasons that former Oakland Raiders quarterback JaMarcus Russell had with the Raiders from 2007 to 2010 before the Raiders moved on in another direction.
In his three seasons with the Raiders, Russell had a quarterback rating of 65.2. That’s obviously horrible and not even at the level of a backup QB in the NFL. In contrast, Geno Smith’s passing rating this season is 60.4 as a starter with the Jets. Smith’s quarterback rating this season is even lower than that of Sanchez in his rookie season in 2009 when he had a 63. Read more
By Greg Stiller: There comes a time in a fighters’ career when they need to be realistic about their limited options in the sport and move on to avoid taking needless punishment without the potential to capture a world title. It might be about that time for the 31-year-old Liverpool native Tony Bellew (20-2-1, 12 KO’s) following his 6th round TKO loss to WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson last Saturday night in Quebec, Canada.
Bellew wasn’t competitive in the fight, and seemed to lack both the heart and the speed for the job. If this was just a one-time thing for Bellew, then it wouldn’t be such a big deal. But the fact is he was already beaten soundly by former WBO light heavyweight champion Nathan Cleverly two years ago in a 12 round decision loss. Before getting destroyed in four rounds by Sergey Kovalev last August, Cleverly was considered a paper champion in the minds of many boxing fans. Read more
By Chip Kuehn: The Los Angeles Lakers owners made a huge mistake in what will likely come back to haunt them in the next two seasons by giving Lakers guard Kobe Bryant a 2-year extension for $48.5 million that makes him the NBA’s highest paid player for those two seasons.
The reason why this is a stupid move on the Lakers part is that Bryant is 36-years-old, not 26, and he’s coming off of a torn Achilles injury from late last season. The Lakers don’t even know how he’ll be able to perform coming off the injury. Read more
By Luke Penhasi: In a make or break fight this Saturday night two aging veterans Paulie Malignaggi (32-5, 7 KO’s) and Zab Judah (42-8, 29 KO’s) go at it on Showtime from the Barclays Center, in Brooklyn, New York, USA. It’s kind of an odd main event in that both guys are coming off of losses, but sadly that’s becoming the norm in boxing nowadays.
There are just so few real stars in the sport, and the ones that are stars are getting old now and beaten by the young lions. Malignaggi and Judah don’t really qualify as stars, but they are well known given the number of times they’ve been televised on HBO and Showtime in the past. Read more
By Matt Fisk: University of Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota says he’ll be returning to Oregon for his junior season next year. Mariota, 6’4″, 211 lbs., was projected to be a 1st round draft pick if he came out for the 2014 draft, had a great season for Oregon in 2013 despite injuring his knee in Oregon’s game of the season against UCLA. He still played well in the team’s last four games of the season while dealing with the knee injury. However, the Ducks lost 2 out of their last 4 games with Mariota and that obviously was a downer for him.
Mariota completed 227 of 360 passes for 3,412 yards with a completion percentage of 63.1, with 30 touchdowns, 4 interceptions and a quarterback rating of 167.9. His completion percentage was down from 68 and his touchdowns were down from 32 from last season. He rushed for 582 yards on 81 attempts, which was also down from last season. Read more
By Mike Torney: Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodger’ status for this Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons is still unknown at this point. Rodgers saw a doctor on Tuesday about his still healing broken collarbone, but nothing has been said by the Packers about whether Rodgers will be given the green light to play on Sunday. It’s been exactly one month since Rodgers suffered the injury against the Chicago Bears on November 4th last month.
That’s roughly 4 seeks since the date of the injury, and broken bones take 6 weeks to heal. Some teams in the league like to rush that number by having players come back with a forearm brace, but you can’t do that with a broken collarbone. There’s not a brace that would hold up to keep the player from having a lot of pressure being put on his collarbone if they get knocked to the ground and have a huge 300 lb. lineman land on him. Read more
By Chip Kuehn: New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees is still pretty bummed out by how badly the Saints were beaten last Monday night in losing to the Seattle Seahawks (11-1) by an embarrassing 34-7 score in front of a Nation wide audience at the CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Washington. The Saints couldn’t do anything right whether on offense of defense.
Brees looked like a backup quarterback than a starter, as he was sacked, he was stripped of the ball at one point with the fumble being picked up by one of the Seahawks defensive lineman and run for the country. It was a rout in every sense of the word. Read more
By Greg Aspen: Britain’s Nathan Cleverly doesn’t like WBC light heavyweight champion Adonis Stevenson’s chances when/if he faces WBO light heavyweight champion Sergey Kovalev (23-0-1, 21 KO’s) in the future. Cleverly expects Kovalev to knockout Stevenson quickly in that fight, as soon as he lands a two or three hard shots to the head.
Cleverly sees it a case of Kovalev having WAY too much power for the likes of Stevenson to handle for this fight. Cleverly is impressed with Stevenson’s speed and power, but he doesn’t see him as having the kind of power that can get Kovalev out of their quickly, and he feels he would need to do that in order to have a chance of beating him. Read more
By Greg Stiller: 44-year-old Roy Jones Jr. (56-8, 40 KO’s) will be returning to the ring this month on December 21st to fight at the Dynamo Palace of Sports in Krylatskoye, Moscow, Russia. While Zine Eddine Benmakhlouf (17-3-1, 8 KO’s) has been listed as Jones Jr’s opponent for that date, it’s still possible that he could wind up facing someone else in a 12 round bout for the WBC cruiserweight title.
Jones Jr. hasn’t fought in a year and a half since defeating Pawel Glazewski by a 10 round split decision in Poland. Jones Jr. looked decent against a weak opponent that he would have wiped out years ago. Let’s be clear about this; the light heavyweight Glazewski likely wouldn’t last one round against champions like Adonis Stevenson and Sergey Kovalev. Read more
By Carlos Jones: WBA middleweight champion Gennady Golovkin (28-0, 25 KO’s) wants to fight frequently, as much as four times per year, and we’re now seeing the drawback of Golovkin fighting so often with him having to settle for opponents that are less than desirable. Golovkin will be fighting Osumanu Adama (22-3, 16 KO’s) in two months on February 1st at the Salle des etoiles, Monte Carlo, Monaco.
Adama, 32, is someone that was open to fighting the hard hitting Golovkin, so he got the fight by default just by wanting it. Getting a good opponent to fight Golovkin isn’t easy nowadays because he’s just too good fight now, and the top fighters don’t want to risk their career by fighting him and getting beaten. Read more
By Matt Fisk: WBA welterweight champion Adrien Broner (27-0, 22 KO’s) will step inside the ring this month on December 14th to make his first defense of his title against slugger Marcos Maidana (34-3, 31 KO’s) in what the 34-year-old Broner hopes will be an easy fight at the Alamodome, in San Antonio, Texas, USA. There’s a lot of unknowns about this fight because Broner is facing his first opponent that is roughly the same size as him but with more power. Broner has always been the bigger puncher at super featherweight and lightweight, but that’s not going to be the case on December 14th against Maidana. Read more