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NFL WEEK 1

NFL Week 1 Game Picks

NFL Week 1 Game Picks 800 600 OnTheStacks

NFL WEEK 1

By Spencer Ripchik

The NFL season is almost here, and this season is filled with storylines.

There’s no Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers is in New York and running backs are making nothing. This season should be interesting with all those factors plus a couple of more.

Here are some Week 1 game picks for the 2023 season.

Detriot Lions at Kansas City Chiefs

The Detroit Lions could be the best team in the NFC North with an improved defense and some more offensive weapons. The Lions were just shy of making the playoffs last year and probably will make it in 2023. 

However, Detroit opens its season against the defending Super Bowl Champions, and the best quarterback in the league and could be the all-time best.

This one is going to be a shootout, but you can’t bet against Patrick Mahomes.

Winner: Kansas City

Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons

Two pretty young teams with young quarterbacks. The Falcons have Desmond Ridder at the helm, who didn’t take over until the end of the season. Carolina has the first overall pick Bryce Young behind center. With both quarterbacks being young, expect a lot of turnovers. 

Atlanta is a bit older and added a bunch of players in the offseason in running back Bijan Robinson, safety Jessie Bates III and defensive end Calais Campbell on the defensive side of the ball.

Both teams are young, but the Panthers are younger.

Winner: Atlanta

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns

Are the Cleveland Browns contenders to win the tough AFC North? Sure, but one of the teams they have to beat is their opponent in Week 1, the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Bengals are potentially the third-best team in the whole league because of their offense consisting of Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins. The defense is also solid.

All around the Bengals are the better team and in a close one get the win on the road.

Winner: Cincinnati

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts

After running back Jonathan Taylor requested a trade, the Colts were sent into a tailspin. This franchise is rebuilding, and Indianapolis is hoping it has its guy in first-round pick Anthony Richardson.

A team that’s not rebuilding is the Jaguars. The Jaguars won a playoff game last year and are only getting better. Trevor Lawrence made a big leap from Year 1 to Year 2, and he just got a WR1 Calvin Ridley, who was one of the best receivers in the league before his injury and then his suspension.

This one will be close too, but Jacksonville has it.

Winner: Jacksonville

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings

The Buccaneers are in their first season without the G.O.A.T. Tom Brady, and now, Baker Mayfield is behind center, which is a clear downgrade. Mayfield isn’t terrible, but not Brady. 

The Minnesota Vikings have added more weapons for Kirk Cousins and that’s on top of the best receiver in the league Justin Jefferson.

The Vikings’ defense has declined, but it’s enough to stop Tampa Bay’s offense, which wasn’t that great when Brady was there.

Cousins usually plays well in the 1 p.m. slot, so it’s the Vikings in this one.

Winner: Minnesota

Tennesee Titans at New Orleans Saints

This game is a toss-up. Both teams aren’t great but have some good things going for them.

The New Orleans Saints look like the better squad with new quarterback Derek Carr, but the Titans have some firepower on offense.

The Saints have a strong defensive line, but Derrick Henry is Derrick Henry and a freight train.

The Titans pick up the win on the road.

Winner: Tennessee

San Fransico 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers

This game could be an interesting one. The 49ers could be without Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa for this game, which is a big blow to that defense.

The Steelers are an interesting bunch with some firepower on defense and are in Year 2 with quarterback Kenny Pickett. Mike Tomlin has never had a losing season but this might be the first one because of how good the AFC North could be.

If this game was in San Fransico, it’s not close, but the Steelers could put up a fight at home.

This is the upset of the week because of how good a coach Tomlin is, and the game is at home.

*Upset* Winner: Pittsburgh

Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders

Both of these teams aren’t the greatest. Arizona will be without Kyler Murray, and with some of their offsesason transactions, it looks like the Cardinals have already given up on the season.

The Commanders have a young squad with Sam Howell at the helm and could have a shot at the playoff.

Any team that plays the Cardinals in the first couple of weeks gets a free win.

Winner: Washington

Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens

Houston is another team in the NFL that is rebuilding around a young core in quarterback C.J. Stroud and pass rusher Will Anderson.

The Ravens aren’t rebuilding. Quarterback Lamar Jackson just got paid and has a bunch of new weapons. 

The Ravens get off to a good start and win at home.

Winner: Baltimore

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears

Green Bay could be the biggest question mark in the NFL. The Packers lost Aaron Rodgers but have had Jordan Love in the back pocket for a couple of years now.

The Packers’ defense is solid with one of the best cornerbacks in the game Jaire Alexander. 

Chicago is on the cusp of a playoff appearance, but not there yet. Justin Fields just added D.J. Moore to his arsenal, so he should improve from Year 2 to Year 3.

This game is another tossup, but there is more known about the Bears.

Winner: Chicago

Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos

“Broncos country, let’s ride” was nothing but bad last year. Russell Wilson had one of his worst NFL seasons, but now the Broncos have Sean Payton as their head coach. That’s gonna make a little difference.

The Broncos defense is pretty decent and has Pat Surtain, arguably the best corner in the league. 

Las Vegas could be good but also could be bad because who knows how Jimmy Garoppolo does on his new team.

Denver is at home, so it takes the edge in another close one.

Winner: Denver

Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots

The Eagles have the best roster in the NFL on paper. Jalen Hurts had a great season last year, and the Philadelphia defense is loaded and just stocked up with defensive rookies from the two-time National Champions Georgia Bulldogs.

The Patriots do have Bill Belichick, one of the best coaches, but their roster doesn’t compare to the Eagles’ roster.

Philadelphia is a Super Bowl favorite this year, so the Eagles win this one.

Winner: Eagles

Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers

This game is going to be an absolute shootout. Two offenses that are loaded with weapons.

The Chargers have Justin Herbert on a new massive contract and just added rookie receiver Quentin Johnston. Los Angeles also has one of the best pass rushers in Joey Bosa, too.

Miami has maybe the best receiver duo in the league in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. However, can Tua Tagovailoa stay healthy? Who knows.

The Dolphins loaded up on defense. They added linebacker David Long and safety DeShon Elliott and they also added corner Jalen Ramsey, but he’s not going to play.

The Chargers win this one because it’s in Los Angeles.

Winner: Los Angeles

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks

After a poor season last year because of multiple injuries, the Rams are back in full force after their Super Bowl win in 2022. 

The Rams have Cooper Kupp back and Matthew Stafford, who are two of the biggest components of the squad, but Kupp is still a bit banged up, so he might not play.

The Seahawks are coming off a playoff appearance even with Russell Wilson not there. Geno Smith won Comeback Player of the Year and looked the best he’s ever been.

Seattle is home to the 12th man and will be still a tough place to play for a still little banged-up Rams squad.

Winner: Seattle

Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants

The New York Giants went from the outhouse to the penthouse last year in Year 1 under Brian Daboll. 

 The Giants added a pair of rookies at corner and acquired tight end Darren Waller and defensive player Isaiah Simmons, who can do it all.

The Cowboys gave Dak Prescott another weapon in Brandin Cooks and have a new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.

The Cowboys defense also added Stephon Gilmore to boost an already solid defense.

This should be an interesting one on Sunday night, but Dallas has a better roster overall.

Winner: Dallas

Buffalo Bills at New York Jets

The Aaron Rodgers era is upon us in New York and his first game is no easy task.

The Buffalo Bills had some problems toward the end of the season with quarterback Josh Allen and their No. 1 receiver Stefon Diggs, but it seems like that’s settled now.

Rodgers has a lot of familiar faces on his offense and potentially a top 5 receiver Garrett Wilson to throw to and a strong defense behind him.

However, the Bills will play spoiler in Rodgers’ first game out in a close one on Monday night.

Winner: Bills

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final 4 predictions

Final Four Preview and Predictions

Final Four Preview and Predictions 800 600 OnTheStacks

final four predictions

By Spencer Ripchik

Final Four Preview and Predictions: The NCAA Tournament has been nothing but chaos and the Final Four shows it.

A 4-seed, two 5-seeds and a 9-seed make up this year’s Final Four teams, which is completely different compared to last year’s Final Four, which was filled with Blue Bloods.

The highest seed left is No. 4 UConn, who’s been one of the hottest teams in the NCAA Tournament, knocking off Gonzaga by a whopping 28 points in the Elite Eight.

If this NCAA Tournament has shown anything it’s that the numbers next to a team’s name doesn’t matter. No. 1 Purdue was upset in the first round by No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson, so anything can happen.

The longshot this weekend is No. 9 FAU, who takes on No. 5 San Diego State. UConn takes on No. 5 Miami for its bid to the National Championship game.

There were once 68 teams, after Saturday, there will be just two remaining. What two will they be?

No. 4 UConn vs. No. 5 Miami

No. 4 UConn has been on a hot streak, winning every game in the NCAA Tournament by more than 10 points.

The Huskies are led by their one-two punch in junior forward Adama Sanogo and sophomore guard Jordan Hawkins. 

Sanogo and Hawkins average over 15 points each and Hawkins played a big role in UConn’s dominant win over No. 3 Gonzaga in the Elite Eight.

UConn coach Dan Hurley’s plays have been on another level in the NCAA Tournament and are one of the main reasons why UConn’s offense clicks.

The supporting cast of Sanogo and Hawkins is also really strong. Guards Tristen Newton and Andre Jackson Jr. can make plays to help the attack for the Huskies.

The Huskies’ offense is hot, but a hotter offense is who they play, Miami.

Miami made a run in the NCAA Tournament a year ago as a 10-seed, making the Elite Eight, and most of the players on that squad came back for this run.

Guard play is the Hurricanes’ specialty, and Miami has a trio of them, junior Isaiah Wong, senior Jordan Miller and sophomore Nijel Pack.

Wong, the lead guy last year, has the same role in 2023. He leads the team averaging 16.2 points per game.

With both teams having strong offenses, it is going to come down to who can create the most stops and the Huskies have the edge.

UConn has held every NCAA Tournament team to under 65 points, including No. 2 Texas, who puts up 78 points per game. 

However, it’s not going to be an easy task with the shooters Miami has. If the Hurricanes can outshoot UConn from deep, it could be Miami headed to the National Championship.

Overall, though, UConn’s the more balanced squad, so the Huskies will be the one in the Championship.

Prediction

UConn 76, Miami 71

No. 5 San Diego State vs. No. 9 FAU

No. 9 FAU, the low team on the totem pole but still in the Final Four, comes out of the chaotic East that had No. 1 Purdue lose in the first round.

On their path to the Final Four, the Owls knocked off No. 4 Tennesee, and a Lil Baby “Low Down” powered No. 3 Kansas State in the final minutes.

No. 5 San Diego State has a strong NCAA Tournament resume too, beating No. 1 Alabama by a couple of scores and edging out No. 6 Creighton. 

The Aztecs have been besting teams with their defense and physicality under the rim. San Diego State has one of the best defenders in the nation playing the 5, senior Nathan Mensah.

At 6-foot-10, 230 pounds, Mensah is a force in the paint and leads the team with 1.7 blocks per game.

Mensah holds down the fort in the paint and junior guard Lamont Butler guards out by the perimeter. Butler locks up the shifty guards and posts a team-best 1.5 steals per game.

Out on the perimeter and in the paint, San Diego State’s defense is hard to crack, but FAU has the firepower offensively to put an end to the Aztecs’ run potentially. 

The firepower has come from sophomore guard Johnell Davis. Davis is the Owls’ playmaker. He leads the team in scoring and in steals per game. 

Davis has a flurry of players around him, too. Freshman Nicholas Boyd averages 8.9 points per game and comes off the bench. The depth of the team is their biggest strength.

The depth is going to have to unload on San Diego State’s defense, though. The Aztecs’ physicallty and defense might shake up the Owls.

There has never been a seed higher than an 8-seed, and that’s not going to happen this year.

Prediction

San Diego State 68, FAU 60

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ncaa march madness upset

First Round NCAA March Madness Upsets & Recap

First Round NCAA March Madness Upsets & Recap 800 600 OnTheStacks

ncaa march madness

By Spencer Ripchik

Selection Sunday is in the past, which means March Madness is in full swing

The college basketball season has been very chaotic with no true No. 1 team emerging. No. 1 Alabama is listed as the No. 1 overall team in the bracket but looked rocky at points in the season.

There has only been one No. 1 seed to lose in the most chaotic part of the bracket, the first round. The Crimson Tide, who played Texas A&M CC, were alright.

However, there are a bunch of other teams that are on upset watch in the first round with some of the picks from yesterday coming to fruition.

Here are a couple of upsets to take a look at before Day 2 of action tips off plus some of the upset picks recapped.

No. 11 Providence over No. 6 Kentucky

Two teams that have been up and down all season. No. 11 Providence and No. 6 Kentucky.

At the start of 2023, the Wildcats were on the bubble but found their stride toward the end of the season. Kentucky was upset by Vanderbilt in the SEC Tournament and could be on upset watch again.

Providence has had a rough stretch of games and has lost four of its last five, so the Friars are in need of a bounce back game.

The Friars have two big wins over Marquette early in the season, so they are very capable of beating big teams. 

Providence plays on the back of Kentucky transfer forward Bryce Hopkins, who averages 16.1 points per game, so it’s a matchup against his former team.

Kentucky has been losing early in the NCAA Tournament the past couple of years and it could happen again.

No. 12 Drake over No. 5 Miami (FL)

The ACC has been all over the place this season and No. 5 Miami is one of the reasons why. 

The Hurricanes had the best record in the ACC this season but didn’t play well in the ACC Tournament, losing to Duke.

The reason why is Miami’s defense. The Hurricanes have no problem scoring but can tend to have a problem defending the rim.

The Hurricanes allow almost as many points as they put up and let up 72.1 points per game.

Drake is not a team to sleep on. Sophomore guard Tucker DeVries is an offensive weapon and almost shoots 40% from deep.

The Bulldogs are another hot team in the NCAA and have a ranked win earlier in the season over Mississippi State.

Miami also might not be entirely healthy with sophomore forward Norchad Omier’s health in question. If he’s not good to go, then Drake can strike against a shaky Miami defense.

No. 12 VCU over No. 5 St. Mary’s

St. Mary’s had a solid start at the beginning of the season with big wins over Gonzaga and San Diego State, but the past couple of games haven’t been kind to the Gaels.

Randy Bennett’s squad lost twice to Gonzaga at the end of the season and an odd loss to Loyola Marymount.

Like in the West Coast Conference finals, St. Mary’s can crack under pressure and did so in 2022 too, losing to UCLA in the second round.

VCU has been rolling and won the Atlantic 10 this year. The Rams’ bread and butter is their defense.

They allow just 62.9 points per game, which is the 23rd-best in the NCAA. St. Mary’s defense is also solid, so it should be a defensive battle. 

VCU and St. Mary’s average the same points per game, but the Rams are one of the best teams in the NCAA at forcing turnovers.

When the Gaels have lost this year it’s been because they cough the ball up. 

This should be one of the best No. 12-No. 5 games of the Tournament, but VCU could have the edge because of its ability to force turnovers and that St. Mary’s isn’t great in big games.

No. 13 Furman over No. 4 Virginia

Furman is one of the hottest teams in the NCAA Tournament of late, winning 14 of its last 15 games this season.

The Paladins are led by their guards and especially senior Mike Bothwell, who leads the team with 18 points per game. With him are junior Marcus Foster and sophomore J.P. Pegues, who both average over 10 points per game.

The offense is rounded out by senior forward Jalen Slawson to give Furman a senior one-two punch.

Virginia has been up and down this season with its methodical offense. The Cavaliers’ slow-paced offense makes them win if it’s a low-scoring game.

Furman averages the 11th-most points per game, so if this is a battle of offenses, the Paladins have more firepower.

What Happened?

This one was hit right on the money. With the clock winding down, Furman’s J.P. Pegues nailed a 3-pointer to give the Paladins the lead, which was the triple that picked up the win.

Senior forward Jalen Slawson led Furman with 19 points in the 68-67 upset victory.

The game was back-and-forth and the difference maker was the Paladins’ 3-point shooting. Virginia led in almost every stat but shot 16.7% from deep compared to Furman’s 35.7%. The Paladins knocked down 10 3-pointers in the win.

The Cavaliers’ struggles in the NCAA Tournament continue as they now have a 1-3 record against 13-seeds and up since 2018.

No. 12 Charleston over No. 5 San Diego State

A No. 12 seed over a No. 5 seed. There’s usually one of those every year and this could be the 2023 version.

No. 12 Charleston is hot off a CAA Championship and is 31-3 on the season. The competition the Cougars have faced off against hasn’t been great, but coach Pat Kelsey has his squad on a 10-game win streak.

The Cougars average 80.8 points per game, which is the 15th most in the NCAA, and it comes from a variety of scorers. Five Cougars average over 10 points per game.

San Diego State won the Mountain West over Utah State and is currently 27-6 on the season. However, the Aztecs’ losses are all in big games and the first round is a big game.

San Diego State lost to Arizona by 17, St. Mary’s and also lost to Arkansas. The other three losses are to other schools in the Mountain West.

The Aztecs have the defense, but the offense is lacking with only one player over double digits. If San Diego State can’t stop the Charleston offense then the Aztecs could be in trouble.

What Happened?

This one was close, but San Diego State held on, winning 63-57 to move on to the second round.

Charleston had the lead toward the end of the game and was looking like it had some momentum. However, the Aztecs made some big shots toward the end of the game, and when they were fouled, they made their free throws.

San Diego State was led by senior guard Matt Bradley, who finished with 17 points on 7-for-15 shooting.

The Aztecs face off against Furman on Saturday.

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Reviewing the 3 Big NBA Trades One Week Later

Reviewing the 3 Big NBA Trades One Week Later

Reviewing the 3 Big NBA Trades One Week Later 800 600 OnTheStacks

Reviewing the 3 Big NBA Trades One Week Later

By Spencer Ripchik

The NBA trade deadline is now a week past and a couple of players have been getting accustomed to their new homes.

The three biggest trades were Kevin Durant to the Phoenix Suns, Kyrie Irving to the Dallas Mavericks and the Los Angeles Lakers bolstered up its lineup with several trades.

A week has passed and some of the new faces have already started to make an impact while others may take some time to get used to their new surroundings.

The All-Star break is here, so in the meantime, here is the breakdown of how these couple of trades have gone so far.

Kyrie Irving, Dallas Mavericks

Point guard Kyrie Irving was a problem as soon as he arrived to play for the Brooklyn Nets in 2019.

In 2020, Irving refused to get the coronavirus vaccine, which was the only way he could play in most NBA stadiums around the country. His refusal to get the vaccine made him miss half the games that season.

Then, Irving made a comment about antisemitism, which led to the Nets suspending him, causing him to miss eight games.

The Nets and Irving had enough, so Irving was sent off to Dallas to play with star Luka Dončić, who at the beginning of the season looked like the clear MVP.

Before the trade, the Mavericks were in the middle of the pack in the West even with Dončić averaging over 30 points per game.

Dallas was hoping putting a star beside Dončić would make the team NBA Title contenders and so far it’s been a mixed bag.

Irving has played really well in the four games since he arrived in Dallas. In the four games, he’s led the team in scoring every game with a high of 36 points against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In the four games, Dallas went 2-2 and lost to the Timberwolves, split with the Sacramento Kings and beat the Los Angeles Clippers.

Three of those teams are ahead of the Mavericks in the standings, so winning two of four helps their playoff seeding.

The Mavericks played the Denver Nuggets for their last game before the All-Star break, but Irving didn’t play because he was dealing with a back injury. Dallas lost to the No. 1 Nuggets 118-109.

The Irving trade is going to be something to monitor for the rest of the season, but right now, Irving has played well when he’s played, but Dallas went 2-2 since he joined the squad.

Kevin Durant, Phoenix Suns

The biggest trade before the deadline was the dealing of the last member of the Big 3 on the Brooklyn Nets, Kevin Durant, who was traded to the Suns.

Durant requested a trade in early January, but nothing was made out of it until the morning of the trade deadline when he was sent to the Phoenix Suns.

The Suns have a bunch of stars like Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Chris Paul and now they’ve added one of the best players in the NBA to the star list.

With the previous three, Phoenix made it to the conference semi-finals in 2022 and then to the Finals in 2021.

The problem is the Suns have struggled to get over the hump.

Before trading for Durant, Phoenix was already a top 5 team in the West chasing down the Denver Nuggets, the Sacramento Kings and the Memphis Grizzlies.

Durant may be the piece that gets the Suns over the hump if he plays.

He hasn’t played with Phoenix yet because Durant has been dealing with a knee injury that has sidelined him since Jan. 8.

Durant is expected to be back after the All-Star break.

Since Durant hasn’t taken the floor yet for the Suns, it’s hard to tell if this will be a fit for him, but looking at the roster, Phoenix is one of the most stacked teams in the West and potentially the whole NBA.

Before the trade, the Suns had 16-1 odds to win the NBA Championship. After, they went down to 6-1, which is tied for the highest odds with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Los Angeles Lakers Several Trades

For most of the season, the Los Angeles Lakers have been just trying to make the play-in tournament and were one of the bottom teams in the West.

It seems the Lakers had higher aspirations than just making the play-in tournament and want to make a push for the Finals.

Los Angeles was one of the teams in the running to land Irving and when it missed out, Rob Pelinka decided to call every number in the phone book.

The Lakers reacquired D’Angelo Russell from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a three-team trade, sending away Russell Westbrook to the Utah Jazz.

In the trade, they also received Malik Beasley and Jarred Vanderbilt.

Los Angeles also traded away Thomas Bryant, who requested a trade, to the Denver Nuggets and in return received Davon Reed and draft capital.

The Lakers quickly replaced Bryant with Mo Bomba, acquiring him from the Orlando Magic, and sent away Patrick Beverley.

Since all the trades, the Lakers have won two of three against two of the teams they are competing against for the final play-in tournament spot, the Golden State Warriors and the New Orleans Pelicans.

LeBron James isn’t getting any younger, despite still playing the same as he did five years ago, so the Lakers needed to do something once they missed out on Irving.

Pelinka made a couple of moves that gives Los Angeles a shot at making the play-in tournament, which allows the Lakers to compete in the playoffs.

They still have a long way to go if they want to win another NBA Championship but have some pieces that make it more likely than it did before the trade deadline.

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Super bowl 2023 picks stats and predictions

Super Bowl LVII Picks, Stats, & Predictions

Super Bowl LVII Picks, Stats, & Predictions 800 600 OnTheStacks

By Spencer Ripchik

The Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas City Chiefs. The Super Bowl is set to declare who the best team in the league is.

The Eagles dominated the San Fransisco 49ers in a 31-7 win in the NFC Championship and the Chiefs won on a walk-off field goal to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 for the AFC Championship.

This is the first meeting in the Super Bowl between the two teams and there are a bunch of storylines like the two Kelce brothers playing against each other and Andy Reid and Nick Sirianni coaching against their former teams.

The biggest storyline, though, is who will have the edge and take home the Lombardi Trophy.

Super Bowl 2023

The Chiefs are back in the Super Bowl for the second time in the last four years and the Eagles are in the Super Bowl for the second time in the last six years.

Led by Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are still cooking with one of the best offenses in the league. Without Tyreek Hill, Mahomes won the MVP, and his stats back up the potential accolade. He led the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns with his primary target being tight end Travis Kelce, who has racked up 1,338 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Kansas City’s offense does most of its damage through the air, but it can run behind its running back by committee with Jerick McKinnon and rookie Isiah Pacheco.

The Chiefs’ strength is Mahomes and its offense, but their defense is nothing to shrug your shoulders over.

Kansas City defensive tackle Chris Jones was one of the nominees for Defensive Player of the Year and had 15.5 sacks this season.

To help Jones out, defensive end Frank Clark has been the defensive star for the Chiefs in the postseason and has 2.5 sacks in two games, which is the fourth-most.

With Jones and Clark, Kansas City doesn’t have a problem getting to the quarterback, but where the Chiefs have struggled is in the secondary.

The Chiefs are middle of the road when it comes to passing yards allowed on the season, which could be a problem, especially against an offense like the Eagles.

Kansas City could be starting two rookie corners Trent McDuffie and Jaylen Watson if L’Jarius Sneed isn’t cleared from his concussion, so there is some inexperience in the secondary.

Philadelphia is a run-heavy team and has run the ball with ease in the postseason because the Eagles have one of if not the best offensive lines in the league.

The Eagles have a running back by committee approach, too, but the lead back is Miles Sanders while running backs Kenneth Gainwell and Boston Scott comes in from time to time.

The Chiefs’ defense hasn’t been too shabby at stopping the run and has done better than the Eagles this season, but Kansas City hasn’t quite faced a rushing attack like the Eagles.

To make Philadelphia’s rushing attack even better, the Eagles have MVP runner-up Jalen Hurts, who can break off for a big rush if he’s out in space.

Hurts was a wildcard this season, but it is clear the Eagles might’ve found their guy for the foreseeable future.

The third-year quarterback has just gotten better and better.

Eagles general manager Howie Roseman has received a lot of criticism for some of the moves he’s made as general manager, like passing on Justin Jefferson for Jalen Reagor, but over the past couple of years, he’s constructed one of the best teams to come out of Philadephia in a long time.

One of the major moves he made was giving Hurts elite receiver A.J. Brown and he fit right into Philadelphia’s scheme. 

Brown, second-year receiver DeVonta Smith and tight end Dallas Goedert are a three-headed monster in the passing game.

Smith has succeeded in the postseason with all the attention on Brown, so the Chiefs’ young secondary is going to have its hands full.

On the defensive side of the ball, Philadelphia just gets better. 

Linebacker Haason Reddick has been one of the best linebackers in the league this season and leads in sacks this postseason.

Philadelphia’s defense led the league in sacks in the regular season, so Mahomes is not going to have too much time to work.

The Eagles’ secondary might be its biggest strength. Cornerbacks Darius Slay and James Bradberry have been two of the best corners and are a major part of why the Eagles have allowed the least amount of yards through the air.

The Chiefs have a slightly better offense than the Eagles because of what Mahomes is able to do, but Philadelphia’s defense is clearly better than Kansas City’s.

Kansas City’s only chance in this game is that Mahomes balls out and pieces apart a tough Eagles defense.

Philadelphia is a much more well-rounded team on defense and offense, and that is why the Eagles will raise the Lombardi Trophy this year.

Philadelphia 31, Kansas City 27

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NFL awards

NFL Awards Predictions

NFL Awards Predictions 800 600 OnTheStacks

NFL Honors 2023

By Spencer Ripchik

The NFL season is coming to a close with just the Super Bowl left, and that means the NFL award season is upon us.

This season has been filled with younger talent showing out with some of the greats like Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers slowly passing the torch to the newcomers.

There are some debates for some awards, but a lot of them have clear winners this year.

Here are my NFL awards for the 2022 season.

MVP: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs

At the start of the season, fans and analysts questioned how well the Kansas City Chiefs would do after trading away one of their best offensive weapons, Tyreek Hill, in the offseason.

The Chiefs did pretty well without Hill, getting the No. 1 seed in the AFC and are now Super Bowl bound. A large part of that was because of their quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

A lot of people have Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts penciled in for the MVP, but he missed the last couple of games with an injury, so it’s hard to pick him over Mahomes.

Mahomes, without Hill, led the NFL in passing yards and passing touchdowns this regular season, making him have some of the best stats as a quarterback.

The MVP, like the Heisman, has turned into a quarterback award and Mahomes was one of the best quarterbacks through all 17 games this season, so he fits the bill for MVP.

Mahomes did throw 11 interceptions this season, but he also threw the ball the third most in the NFL, so the interceptions, in a pass-heavy offense, were bound to come.

The sixth-year player has highlight after highlight and has the stats, too, making him the league’s Most Valuable Player this year.

Comeback Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, running back, San Francisco 49ers

The Comeback Player of the Year is probably one of the most controversial awards every year because nobody really knows what the metrics are. Is it the most improved player over the year or a player who came back from injury and played really well?

Like last year, the Comeback Player of the Year is going to go to a player who was injured and came back, and that’s why the award will go to San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey.

There is an argument that if it goes to an injured player it should go to New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley, but Barkley only has the rushing stats, not total touchdowns and yards.

McCaffrey was ahead of Barkley in touchdowns and all-purpose yards.

The midseason acquisition McCaffrey fitted in well with the 49ers’ heavy rushing offense.

Fresh off the injury, McCaffrey is back to being one of the best all-around running backs in the NFL.

Offensive Player of the Year: Justin Jefferson, wide receiver, Minnesota Vikings

In his third year in the NFL, Justin Jefferson was one of the best players in the NFL and if the MVP award wasn’t heavily given to a quarterback, Jefferson would have a real shot at that award, too.

Jefferson had the most receiving yards in the NFL and 100 more receiving yards than Tyeek Hill, who had the second-most.

He made some big-time plays all season and had one of the best catches in the overtime thriller against the Buffalo Bills in Week 10.

Jefferson broke Randy Moss’ Vikings receiving yard record in just his third season, too.

The only offensive players better than Jefferson was the quarterbacks, so this award goes to him.

Defensive Player of the Year: Nick Bosa, defensive end, San Fransico 49ers

This award is one of the more difficult ones to give out because it’s a close race between San Fransico 49ers’ defensive end Nick Bosa and Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker Micah Parsons.

Parsons was the clear frontrunner at the start of the season, but Bosa was the main piece of one of the best defenses in the league.

Bosa was one of the best at finding the quarterback in 2022 and led the league with a career-high 18.5 sacks, which was 2.5 more than anybody else.

The fourth-year player out of Ohio State continues to get better and better and this year, now that he was fully healthy, he was able to show out.

With the number of sacks he racked up, Bosa claimed this year’s Defensive Player of the Year Award.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Brock Purdy, quarterback, San Fransico 49ers

The Offensive Rookie of the Year is a tough one because there wasn’t really a player that stood out all year, but in the last seven games of the regular season Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy emerged.

The last pick in the draft, Purdy started the last six games of the regular season and didn’t lose a single one.

He came in as the third-string quarterback and did his job. He didn’t have to do too much because of how good the team around him was, but he rarely made mistakes.

Purdy threw for 13 touchdowns in the last six games and threw for 1,308 yards. He only threw three interceptions in those last six games, too.

With no rookie truly standing out on the offensive end, Purdy’s late-season surge was enough to make him win Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Sauce Gardner, cornerback, New York Jets

There were a couple of solid defensive rookies this season, especially at the corner position. 

One of those rookie corners was New York Jets cornerback Sauce Gardner, who has transitioned to the NFL extremely well and is already one of the best corners in the league.

A smooth transition like that is not an easy thing to do, but Gardner looks like he was ready for the NFL right out of college.

Gardner had two interceptions and led the league in pass breakups as a rookie. He also only allowed one touchdown in Week 12 against the Cleveland Browns in 17 games.

The sheer dominance at one of the toughest positions in the league makes Gardner this year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Coach of the Year: Brian Daboll, New York Giants

The New York Giants finished the 2021 season 4-13 with the worst record in the NFC East. 

In the offseason, the Giants signed just two free agents and one of them was a backup quarterback. Their highest-paid offensive player only had six catches for 81 yards in the regular season.

Yet, first-year head coach Brian Daboll managed to turn that 4-13 New York team that made almost no offseason moves into a playoff team. A playoff team that won a playoff game, too.

Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Pederson did turn the worst team in the NFL into a playoff-winning team, but the Jaguars were much more aggressive in free agency and had more talent than the Giants.

Daboll changed things around with the offense and made quarterback Daniel Jones look like a potential franchise quarterback.

Jones, after the Giants drafted him with the sixth-overall pick in 2019, looked like he was going to be on his way out after this year.

However, Jones had a career year in just one year under Daboll, which completely shifted the narrative in New York.

Daboll turned a 4-13 team that was pretty much the same roster into a playoff team, making him the Coach of the Year.

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NFL Championship Sunday Preview & Predictions

2023 NFL Championship Sunday Preview & Predictions

2023 NFL Championship Sunday Preview & Predictions 800 600 OnTheStacks

NFL Championship Sunday Preview & Predictions

By Spencer Ripchik

There are just four teams remaining after the Divisional Round. The two No. 1 seeds: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles and the outliers: The No. 2 San Francisco 49ers and the No. 4 Cincinnati Bengals.

The Chiefs and the Bengals are squaring off once again in the AFC Championship after Cincinnati headed on the road to Buffalo and knocked off the Buffalo Bills. Kansas City defended its home turf, knocking off the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Eagles looked like the most dominant team on the weekend, rolling the New York Giants while the 49ers won a close one against the Dallas Cowboys.

With the Divisional Round in the rearview mirror, there are just two more games until the Super Bowl. 

The Chiefs vs. the Bengals and the Eagles vs the 49ers.

NFC Championship

The San Francisco 49ers come into Championship Sunday riding a 12-game win streak with undefeated third-string rookie quarterback Brock Purdy at the helm.

Purdy heads to Lincoln Financial Field for the first time in his career and he is going to face one of the best defenses in the NFL.

The Philadelphia Eagles have allowed the fewest passing yards in the NFL this season and have wrapped up the quarterback the most times in 2022 with 70 sacks.

The Eagles have created a strong secondary with Pro Bowl corner Darius Slay leading the way and offseason acquired corner James Bradberry.

Moving down to their linebackers, the Eagles have Pro Bowlers in that department, too. Haason Reddick is having a career year and leads the sack machine of the Eagles with 16 sacks.

The Eagles are loaded with Pro Bowlers and have a quarterback that’s an MVP finalist, heading into awards season.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts has taken a major step forward and wasn’t hindered by his injury against the New York Giants in the Divisional Round. Hurts went 16-for-24, throwing for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the second playoff appearance of his career.

Hurts didn’t run much, but he didn’t need to. The Eagles torched the Giants’ defense with their run game, rushing for 268 yards.

Against the 49ers, Hurts’ legs will have to have more of an impact because San Francisco has one of the best defensive fronts in the game spearheaded by Defensive Player of the Year finalist Nick Bosa.

The 49ers’ offense is the same Kyle Shanahan ground-and-pound offense that sets up the play action, and now, they have Christian McCaffrey, one of the best running backs in the league, running behind a strong offensive line.

It will be interesting to see how well the Eagles deal with the run-heavy attack because they’ve struggled to stop the rush this season.

The biggest factor in the game, though, will be how well Purdy deals with playing in one of the toughest stadiums to play in at Lincoln Financial Field.

Will the lights be too bright for the rookie?

My prediction:

Philadelphia 24, San Francisco 20

AFC Championship

The Kansas City Chiefs against the Cincinnati Bengals. Some deja vu.

The Bengals and the Chiefs are squaring off in their second-straight AFC Championship and second-straight AFC Championship in Arrowhead Stadium.

Last time, the Chiefs got off to a hot start, but Comeback Player of the Year, quarterback Joe Burrow led his squad on an 18-point comeback to beat Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs.

Burrow’s had Mahomes’ number and has won all three of their meetings. Burrow has already beaten the Chiefs earlier in the season 27-24, but that game was at home not on the road.


The biggest storyline heading into Sunday’s fourth meeting between the two is Mahomes isn’t at full strength after he suffered a high ankle sprain.

Mahomes has been practicing and is expected to play, but his ankle will definitely be something to watch for on Sunday.

The rest of the Chiefs’ offense has flowed through tight end Travis Kelce and an assortment of receivers in the post-Tyreek Hill era.

The Kansas City offense has the highest-scoring offense in the NFL even without Hill, but the Bengals also have a high-powered offense.

Cincinnati is led by Burrow and his trio of receivers in Ja’marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, which is a similar offense to the Super Bowl squad last year.

This year, the Bengals’ offensive line has done better at protecting Burrow, an issue in the 2021 season. Cincinnati was the third most sacked team in 2021 and now moved out of the top 10.

The Bengals have the better defense allowing only 13 points per game while the Chiefs allow 20, but this game is going to come down to which offense has more firepower on Sunday.

If Mahomes is fully healthy, it is going to be hard to pick against the No. 1 seeded Chiefs, but if he’s not, the Bengals are the no-brainer pick.

My prediction: 

Cincinnati 28, Kansas City 23

Do you have a sports story you want me to share? Or do have suggestions on any sports related content you want to see OnTheStacks? Tweet me @RipchikSpencer

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Spencer Ripchik Joins OnTheStacks as Sports Blogger

Spencer Ripchik Joins OnTheStacks as Sports Blogger

Spencer Ripchik Joins OnTheStacks as Sports Blogger 800 600 OnTheStacks

OnTheStacks is expanding into other fields of content, and with that, we’re excited to announce that Spencer Ripchik is joining the OnTheStacks team as a sports blogger!

You’ve trusted OnTheStacks for the last four years as your source in the world of entrepreneurship and business, and we hope to gain that same trust with you, but this time on the field; see what we did there?!

Who is Spencer Ripchik?

Spencer Ripchik

Hey I’m Spencer! I’m a native of Saratoga Springs, New York. Currently, I’m a junior at Penn State University where I major in print and digital journalism.

I’m excited to come on as a blogger for OnTheStacks where I will write sports-related content each week. Some of the sports I’ll cover are the NFL, NBA, College Football and College Basketball.

I’ve covered a lot of exciting sporting events at Penn State working for the Daily Collegian, including Penn State Football’s recent 35-21 Rose Bowl win over Utah.

I’ve also written for The Saratoga Special and the Penn State CommRadio.

If you have suggestions on any sports related content you want to see OnTheStacks, tweet me @RipchikSpencer

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