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Brady Does It Again, The 2020 NFL Season, The Season Like No Other by Scott Lewis

Yet another NFL season is in the books, and for the 7th time in 20 years (4th time in 7 years), Tom Brady is again on the top of the NFL’s Mt. Olympus. Scott dives into a wild NFL season.

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Yet another NFL season is in the books, and for the 7th time in 20 years (4th time in 7 years), Tom Brady is again on the top of the NFL’s Mt. Olympus. In his 21st season at the tender age of 43, Brady threw for 4,633 yards, 40 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions with a 65.74 completion percentage per Pro Football Reference.

Brady’s year didn’t start the way people expected after leaving the New England Patriots last March after 20 seasons and six Super Bowls mainly because he wasn’t feeling Bill Belichick’s love. Brady stunned the world by signing with a team that hadn’t made the postseason since 2007 and posted a 7-9 season the year before, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Bucs finished 11-5 (2nd in the NFC South) and headed into the 2020 postseason as a Wild Card with the 5th seed. There were questions about the team leading up to their first playoff game on the road against the Washington Football Team. We can debate whether a team that finished 7-9 should’ve been allowed in the playoffs.

Nonetheless, Brady was facing a new challenging path, and that’s having to play all conference playoff games on the road.

Playing playoff games on the road was a big task for a QB past his prime and a young team with little to no playoff experience, as we would soon learn, though, when you have the greatest of all-time leading your team, no mountain’s too big to climb. The Bucs would beat Washington 31-23 in a game that the score was closer than the game was before heading into a three-game gauntlet against three of the game’s greatest quarterbacks.

The Buccaneers headed into the Super Dome in New Orleans to take on the division rival Saints, who blew the doors off them in their two regular-season matchups. One of the old sayings in football is it’s hard to beat a division rival three times in one season, especially a team with the game’s greatest QB and a young and hungry defense that was licking their chops at the chance to end the career of Drew Brees.

Todd Bowles’s defense held Drew Brees to under 150 yards passing, forced him to throw three interceptions, and kept the playmaking, Alvin Kamara, under 100 yards rushing and out of the end zone. Brady would lead the offense with two touchdowns as the Bucs won 30-20 to advance to the NFC championship.

Waiting for the Bucs in the NFC Championship was the eventual league MVP Aaron Rodgers & the number one seeded Green Bay Packers. The Packers finished the season 13-3 and had the league’s best offense, but none of that mattered that cold day at Lambeau Field. Tom Brady had an off game throwing three touchdowns and adding three interceptions, but the defense and questionable play-calling was the story.

Packers head coach Matt LaFleur elected to go for a field goal as the clock ticked under five minutes left in the game and down 8 points. Going for the field goal instead of going for the tie with Aaron Rodgers on your team is like deciding to take an Uber when you have a Bentley in the driveway; it makes no sense. All Brady needed was the first down, and he was heading to his 10th Super Bowl in his career. After a holding call on the Packers’ Kevin King, the game was sealed with a Chris Godwin first down, setting up a matchup against the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Tom Brady vs. Patrick Mahomes, the old vs. the new, a matchup we haven’t witnessed since 2002 in the WWE where The Rock went head to head with the aging Hulk Hogan. Mahomes is the NFL’s young star, and in only four seasons, he has already thrown for 114 touchdowns, been a league MVP, won a Super Bowl and Super Bowl MVP.

Expectations were for Brady to pass the torch to an up and coming talent in Patrick Mahomes. Regrettably, for Mahomes and many people who can’t stand Tom Brady, this did not happen; it was nowhere close to happening as this game was a route from the start.

The Bucs defense showed out, Devin White and the gang held Mahomes to ZERO TOUCHDOWNS; you read that right, the league’s brightest young QB did not get into the end zone one time. Mahomes was under pressure all night as he was sacked three times and threw two interceptions. The Chiefs struggled as Tom Brady went 21/29 for 201 yards and threw three touchdowns. The Bucs would win 31-9 and win their 2nd Super Bowl in franchise history. Brady would get his 7th Super Bowl win and capture his 5th Super Bowl MVP.

Brady winning his 7th championship, as crazy as that is, was not the big story of this wild 2020 NFL season. Almost a year ago, COVID-19 changed everything, and all sports leagues stopped play. The NFL barely missed it as Super Bowl 54 wrapped up just the month before, and they had the longest time out of all the associations to come up with a Covid plan.

I was very skeptical of how this season would go considering the NFL plays in the fall/winter, how many people are on the teams, and the coaching staff. The NBA received praise for implementing the bubble that kept the league safe. The NFL could not rely on such accommodations to keep players and staff safe. Despite the fact, there was no real training camp, no preseason, and the NFL started their season mid-September with mainly no crowds and quarantine rules for all teams.

I felt this was a hazardous move, and I thought we would get tons of positive tests, and games wouldn’t take place, especially late in the season.

Woefully that’s what happened as teams such as the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Buffalo Bills dealt with positive tests and had to reschedule games. Hell, the Denver Broncos played a WHOLE ASS GAME with no quarterback available. Although all of this craziness happened, I feel the NFL handled this season the best way they could. As a die-hard football fan, I also didn’t have a problem with the multiple doubleheader games we got on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday through the middle part of that season.

Around Thanksgiving, the outbreaks started to slow down, and the league got through the playoffs with little to no issues. Even though many people, including myself, didn’t like the 20,000 people (half of the crowd was vaccinated) who were at Raymond Jones Stadium for the Super Bowl, this will be the future of sports. The NBA has already laid out a plan to start slowly inviting fans back to games, and I believe the 10-25% capacity is about to be the blueprint on how to get sports crowds back to normal.

The NFL gets a lot of shit & rightfully so, and despite the fact we don’t like their plan, they succeeded when it came to delivering the season like none other.

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Patrick Mahomes Signs Largest Contract in Sports History

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For the first time in the history of sports, an athlete has signed a contract worth half a billion dollars. That athlete is coming off the heels of winning his first Super Bowl MVP and hopes to have a long career of personal and team success ahead of him.

In his first two seasons playing in the NFL, Patrick Mahomes has won a league MVP and the Super Bowl. Now Mahomes has signed a 10-year contract extension worth $503 million.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the contract is a 10-year deal worth $45 million a year, which will pay Mahomes $450 million over that span. Assuming he stays healthy, Mahomes will be the quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs through the 2031 season. If he does get hurt, there is still $140 million in injury guarantees.

Along with the $450 million, Mahomes has guarantee mechanisms in his contract (to account for the rising salary cap) that can take his contract up to $477 million. If those mechanisms aren’t met, Mahomes can opt out of the deal.

Finally, there are $25 million in incentives that Mahomes can reach, taking the total potential value of his new contract to $503 million.

At just 24 years old, Mahomes has quickly became regarded as the best quarterback in the NFL. He has now proven he can win and play well in the biggest moments, while producing gaudy statistics along the way.

There is truly no telling what the Chiefs will do over the next 12 years that they have Mahomes as the face of the franchise. It is clear though that they believe they have a dynasty on their hands and Mahomes will get paid handsomely through every minute of it.

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Patriots Dynasty Given New Life with Cam Newton Signing

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When Tom Brady signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the AFC East looked to be wide-open for the time in two decades. The New England Patriots were set to go into this season with unproven young quarterback Jarrett Stidham and journeyman Brian Hoyer.

Then over the weekend, Bill Belichick once again reminded everyone why the Patriots have been atop the sport for so long, as his patience paid off and they landed a former MVP quarterback to replace the one that left them in free agency.

Cam Newton is coming off an injury-plagued season that saw him play just two games, leading to his eventual release by the Carolina Panthers this offseason. Still, he signs with the Patriots on a one-year deal which comes at incredible value for New England.

Newton was the league MVP in 2015, when he led the Panthers to the Super Bowl after going 15-1 in the regular season. He has been one of the most elite dual-threat quarterbacks in the NFL since arriving to league as the first overall pick back in 2011.

Across the first eight seasons of his career, Newton averaged 3,500 passing yards, 23 passing touchdowns, 600 rushing yards and seven rushing touchdowns per season. Now due to the unprecedented circumstances of this offseason, he simply fell into New England’s laps.

The most money that Newton will make this season in $7.5 million if he hits all of his incentives. There also is not any provision in his contract that prohibits the Patriots from putting the franchise tag on him next year if Newton has a big year.

Essentially the Patriots landed, at worst, one of the best backup quarterbacks in the league on a minimum deal if he does not win the starting job. Assuming he is healthy, Newton is an affordable quarterback that can have a monster bounce-back year and lead the Patriots for the next few seasons.

Once again the New England Patriots have become the envy of all teams in the NFL. Only time will tell though if the dynasty truly can live one without Tom Brady.

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Andy Dalton Signs One-Year Deal with the Dallas Cowboys

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When the Cincinnati Bengals released Andy Dalton, everyone was wondering where the 32-year-old quarterback would sign now that he was a free agent.

The New England Patriots and the Jacksonville Jaguars were among some of the potential landing spots that were suspected to pique Dalton’s interest, but nobody had him signing with the Dallas Cowboys.

Yet that is exactly where Dalton will end up, as the Cowboys shocked everyone on Saturday night by signing him to a one-year deal worth up to $7 million.

You can imagine that playing for the Cowboys was always a dream for Dalton, as he was born and raised in Katy, Texas, which is located about three hours outside of Dallas.

Dalton went on to play college football at Texas Christian University and would set nearly all school quarterback records during his time with the Horned Frogs. Dalton was then drafted by the Bengals with the 35th overall pick back in 2011.

He has gone on to have a very good NFL career starting for the Bengals and will now look to compete with Dak Prescott in Dallas.

If all goes as planned for the Cowboys, Prescott won’t miss any time next season and Dalton won’t ever see the field. But by signing Dalton, the Cowboys have a great contingency plan in place.

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