The Rival Sports Podcast Episode 23: “Kicking can’t be this hard, right?”

The Rival Sports Podcast is back for Episode 23 and we’re talking more NFL football. The NFC has flip-flopped and we’re now living in the upside down, players legs are falling off, the AFC North is all but settled, and kickers inexcusably suck now.

In Episode 23 Adam and Al are joined by special guest and friend of the pod Ben who sheds some light on this weeks NFL action and give his personal take (as a former kicker) on why everyone but Justin Tucker sucks. Plus we chat about the Eifert puke-inducing ankle break that Redzone didn’t prepare us for, and Earl Thomas shooting his team the bird while getting carted off.

Listen to “Episode 23: “Kicking can’t be this hard, right” on Spreaker here!
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This episode includes:

  • Vikings discussions on whether they’re the real deal anymore
  • Packers talk on crushing the Bills, showing patience with Devante Adams as a number 1 WR in the NFL, and rejoicing in Aaron Jones’ early success
  • Are the Bears really good? and will the Lions ever be good?
  • Earl Thomas obviously breaks his leg and makes it a contract issue while Le’veon Bell can’t help but comment on Instagram on the issue
  • Tyler Eifert has a great game but then his foot pretty much falls off to end his season
  • The Browns and Steelers go quietly into the night as the Bengals and Ravens are in the driver’s seat for the division
  • And we end by discussing kickers in the NFL making their jobs so much harder than it has to be

The Rival Sports Podcast will be posting new NFL episodes on a weekly basis. Please subscribe on iTunes and Google Play to keep up to date on all of our podcasts!

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The Rival Sports Podcast Episode 22: The Bakery is Open!

The Rival Sports Podcast is back for Episode 22 and we’re talking more NFL football. The good teams are losing, the bad teams are winning, and nothing seems to make sense anymore in this wildly unpredictable league.

In Episode 22 Adam and Al are in shambles after their teams, the Vikings and Packers, can’t seem to figure it out, ceding the early divisional lead to the Chicago Bears. New England and Jacksonville follow the NFC North’s suit and let a long-shot team take the divisional lead after two shocking losses, and Greg gives a rundown of the Week 4 edition of #3InOut – who to bring IN and who to kick OUT of your Fantasy Football lineup.

Listen to “Episode 22: The Bakery is open” #Bakeryisopen on Spreaker here!
Want to hear more? Subscribe on iTunes, listen on Google Play, and be sure to check our archives.
This episode includes:

  • Baker Mayfield impressions and expectations moving forward as the starter and savior in Cleveland
  • Green Bay and Minnesota forgetting that they’re good teams
  • Pats losing to the Lions, inviting more questions about the team’s quality, while the Jags go toothless in field goal loss to the Titans
  • Saquan Barkley is good
  • Fitzmagic keeps his job
  • and finally, the AFC North is an unpredictable mess… and we love it!

The Rival Sports Podcast will be posting new NFL episodes on a weekly basis. Please subscribe on iTunes and Google Play to keep up to date on all of our podcasts!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter:

Aaron Rodgers Is Worth The Money, And Then Some.

Aaron Rodgers is entering the 2018 season as the highest paid player in the NFL, and deservedly so. The contract he signed is a 4 year $134 million deal with the potential to reach $180 million if he hits incentive bonuses. In a salary cap world, there will always be a debate on whether a player is worth his cap space. Being over paid can hinder a team from competing, so obviously the highest cap in the league is worth analyzing.

There are a couple different reasons why Aaron Rodgers is absolutely worth this deal, and could actually be a steal for Green Bay.

First and most importantly, Rodgers simply deserves to be the highest paid player based on factual statistics. Not only is he statistically the best QB in the game right now, he’s the best statistically of all time. He boasts the highest QB rating ever for a starting QB, and the lowest interception percentage. That is insane. We can debate all day about whether that puts him in the conversation of best ever, but those facts cannot be disputed. Statistics aside, anyone who has been following the NFL for the last decade can tell you Rodgers is an extremely special player. He’s carried Green Bay through some rough years, and brought them to playoffs for all but his second year as a starter. He’s not only known for his pin point accuracy, but also his mobility, his decision making, and his clutchness tossing ridiculous Hail Marys to win games. In other words, he’s elite at everything.

Secondly, it is important to remember that the salary cap is always rising, and the cost to retain franchise QB’s will continue to rise with it. Aaron himself is a perfect example of this. When he signed his last contract, he was the highest paid player in the league, but it wasn’t long before this was overtaken in the coming years by contracts given to EIGHT other quarterbacks, including Joe Flacco, Alex Smith, Derek Carr, Matthew Stafford and Jimmy Garoppolo. Look at this list. Even barely above average QB’s are costing an arm and a leg to keep. So with that said, it won’t be long before Rodgers contract will look like a complete steal (which is only $3 million more per year than Kirk Cousins for comparison).

And finally, this is the time for Green Bay to go for it all. Rodgers isn’t exactly young anymore. Randall Cobb and Jimmy Graham probably only have a few more years of consistent productivity. And while the defense does have some promising young talent, particularly at the DB position, the team lives and dies by Aaron’s arm. I can’t say how long he will decide to play football for, but you can be sure that his replacement is extremely unlikely to replicate his impact on the team. Give him as much money as he wants now and go for gold.

The only possible downside here is the idea of Rodgers being injury prone and potentially wasting a ton of money. It’s not a concern without warranted discussion, however all I can say is that all football players get hurt. If you haven’t missed parts of a season this far into your career, you are extremely lucky. At the end of the day, Rodgers has played 15 or more games in 8 out of 10 seasons as a starter. The entire idea of him being injury prone is completely blown out of proportion.

Packers Backfield Features No Clear-Cut Starter Yet

The biggest question mark in Green Bay this summer is; who will be the starting running back? The Packers are lucky to have 3 strong candidates who will be battling for the position. Ty Montgomery, the versatile wide receiver converted running back is coming off an injury that halted his season. He was the RB1 last year to start the season, but after being injured, his spot was filled by rookies Jamaal Williams and Aaron Jones. There is no indication at this point on whether or not Montgomery will resume his starting position. As it currently stands, McCarthy wants to see how training camp shakes out before he makes these decisions.

As for Williams and Jones, these two talented backs provide different play styles that McCarthy can use situationally if he pleases, and run a backfield by committee. Williams is more of a traditional downhill runner, where as Jones is an elusive back who can score from anywhere. Do any of these 3 running backs have a leg up on the others? I would argue that Jamaal Williams fits the mold of your typical early down back. He is the guy I would want taking the heavy beating between the tackles. Jones and especially Montgomery are great third down backs who can stretch the field and catch balls very well.

At the end of the day, I would be surprised if either of these 3 backs don’t see significant play time throughout the season. A three-headed backfield is the way to go. The great thing about that is if one get’s injured, the team won’t skip a beat.

An encouraging sign for Aaron Jones is that he had put on some mass during the off season to help him in pass protection, which was viewed has one of his weaknesses. Is that enough to vault him past Ty and Jamaal? Time will tell. Who’s your favourite to start the 2018 season?

Big Changes in Little Green Bay; Packers Look to Regain Dominance of Past


A lot is changing for the 2018 Green Bay Packers. This includes players as well as management. With a satisfactory season behind them, Green Bay has fired long time GM Ted Thompson, and replaced him with former director of player personnel, Brian Gutekunst. He has been working within the Packers organization for 20 years and knows his team’s roster as good as anyone. It’s a welcome change from Ted Thompson who is notoriously stubborn when it comes to adding talent via free agency. While I appreciate his view of “draft and develop from within”, I think there has to be a balance of home grown players as well as acquired players through trade and free agency. Why is a balance important? Just look at Ted Thompson’s biggest outside acquisition – Charles Woodson. He is one of the rare big name players that he signed as a GM. What were the results? A defensive MVP season for Woodson and a Super Bowl for Green Bay.

That brings us to Gutekunst, who in his short time has already made a huge splash in free agency and shown the world that Green Bay means business again. Two big names have been added to the roster for Mike McCarthy and new defensive coordinator Mike Pettine to take advantage of. Jimmy Graham and and Muhammad Wilkerson. Sadly, in order to fit Graham’s salary, Jordy Nelson was cut from the team. But losing from a position of strength where Davante Adams has overtaken Nelson as the teams top WR, and gaining one of the best receiving tight ends in the league, could prove to be a big boost. Nelson’s end zone ability will be missed for sure, but let’s remember that Jimmy lead all tight ends in touch downs just last season. I’m genuinely excited to see what him and Rodgers are capable of doing together. And just to top it off, Gutekunst has also signed veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis who is widely considered one of the leagues best blocking tight ends. Talk about taking a weak position and turning it into a very strong one!

Muhammad Wilkerson will be a huge addition to Green Bay’s defensive front. Drafted in the first round in 2011, he has amassed 45 sacks for the Jets, and has shown flashes of dominance, specifically in 2015 where he had a career high of 12 sacks and made the pro bowl. He will join fellow pro bowler Mike Daniels to steady the Packer’s defense.

The secondary should also see a boost with First round draft pick Jaire Alexander looking to steal a starting spot, and former fan favourite Tramon Williams returning to Green Bay to give some much needed help to Ha-Ha Clinton Dix.

All there is left to do is sit and wait to see if there are any other moves up Gutekunst’s sleeve. Adrian Peterson has vocalized interest in coming to Green Bay, and Dez Bryant is another name that seems to be linked to them as well. Is signing either of these players the right move? Probably not as Dez will be commanding too much money and AP is a shell of his former self. But it’s nice to have that feeling of possibility instead of “Nope, Thompson doesn’t do the whole off season thing”. We already know what Rodgers thinks of the whole Dez Bryant idea;

At the end of the day it is Brian Gutekunst’s decision and if he feels like Dez is worth the gamble, we could very well see him in Green Bay soon. It would be a strange look for sure.