Houston Texans Season In Review/Offseason Preview

By: Jeff Knapp

The Houston Texans ended the 2022 season with a horrible 3-13-1 record finishing last in the AFC and going into the 2023 draft with the 2nd pick and 12th pick from the Cleveland Browns as a part of the Deshaun Watson trade. 

The Texans go into free agency with about $41 million in cap space and have many holes to plug on both sides of the ball. 

On the offensive side of the ball, the Texans were ranked 31st in total yards per game with 283.5, 196.7 passing yards a game (25th), 86.8 rushing yards a game (31st), and 17 points per game (31st)

2nd year starting QB Davis Mills threw for 3118 yards (16th ranked), 17 TDs (16th ranked), 15 INTs (tied for 1st), and took 31 sacks (15th most). He took a step back a bit compared to his 2021 rookie season.

Rookie RB Dameon Pierce missed the last four games of the season with an ankle injury. He still finished the season with 939 rushing yards and 4 TDs to go along with his 30 receptions out of the backfields for 165 yards and 1 TD.

Their receiving core was banged up with Brandin Cooks missing four games, Nico Collins missing seven, and Amari Rodgers missing 11. Rookie 2nd round WR John Metchie missed the season after being diagnosed with Leukemia.

Although Brandin Cooks missed four games, he still led the team in receptions and receiving yards with 699. TE Jordan Akins had a good year ending with 37 receptions and 5 TD. 

On the defensive side of the ball, their defense was the 27th-ranked defense giving up 24.7 points per game, and was ranked 19th with 39 sacks. 

Even with a defense that left little to be desired, some bright spots were on that side of the ball. I want to spotlight Safety Jalen Pitre, who finished with 146 tackles, one sack, and 5 INTs. We also have to spotlight LB Christian Kirksey, who finished with 124 tackles, three sacks, and 2 INTs. 

Lastly, 2022 1st round pick Derek Stingley Jr. had a solid start to his career but sadly only played in 9 games after suffering a hamstring injury which the Texans decided to put him on IR not further to aggravate his injury with a season already finished. He had 35 tackles, one sack, and 1 INT in those nine games.

With free agency on the horizon, they can keep some of their most productive players and move on from others.

As of this writing, 2/27/2023, these are my thoughts on FA and the Draft

There are a few players I believe the Texans should try and resign are

  1. OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
  2. WR Chris Moore
  3. TE Jordan Akins

If they can keep those three players, there are a few they might need to move on from, and they are

  1. OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis
  2. RB Rex Burkhead
  3. CB Tremon Smith
  4. WR Phillip Dorsett

With free agency starting in mid-March, there are a few free agents they should go after. After giving up over 30 sacks, they need to sure up that OL. With that said, that’s where I’d start 1st. I’d look at RTs George Fant or Mike McGlinchey to play opposite Laremy Tunsil. From there, I’d look into the Guard position and try for Isaac Seumalo or even Justin Pugh, who can at least be better than what they have at that position.

With the WR core how it was last season, they will look at the draft for help, but they should look at signing 1 of the better FA receivers, including Allen Lazard, Jakobi Meyers, or Marvin Jones. If they add Jones along with Lazard or Meyers and pick up an excellent rookie receiver, they are on the right path.

On the defensive side, there are a few names that they might want to target

  1. FS Jordan Poyer
  2. DT Dalvin Tomlinson
  3. DT Fletcher Cox
  4. DE Yannick Ngakoue

Adding just some of those on both sides will give them an upgrade on the O-line to protect the QB and the added force upfront from getting after the QB.

Let’s also not forget who might become cap casualties once teams like the Bucs, Saints, Vikings, Chargers, Jags, and Bills start releasing players. 

With those holes hopefully filled or at least improved during the free agency period, they head into the 2023 draft with the 2nd and 12th pick (from Cleveland). 

With the 2nd pick, the Texans have plenty of options. 

Option A: If the Bears trade the #1 pick to another team looking for a QB, they still have the option to get whoever is left after that team takes Bryce Young, CJ Stroud, or Will Levis. 

With the 12th pick, they can either go WR with Quentin Johnston or Jordan Addison.

Option B: They are committed to Davis Mills OR can land Lamar Jackson in free agency, which is a HUGE if they trade back to 4th (Colts), 7th (Raiders), or 9th (Panthers), so those teams can pick a QB, and the Texans pick up an O-lineman with that pick and then still go WR with the 12th. They take a DT or LB with their second 2nd round pick to go with their 1st 2nd rounder earlier. Receivers to target are Quentin Johnston and Jordan Addison. 

Option C: Trade back with their 12th pick if both significant WR threats are off the board and take one of 5 possible 1st-round O-linemen that might be left on the board.


In A New York Minute

By : Mike Rifkin

On Monday night, the Knicks beat the Celtics 109-94 for their sixth consecutive win. The win puts the Knicks in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, meaning they would make the playoffs without playing in the play-in tournament.
One of the bright spots for the Knicks has been their defense. Over the last six games, they have forced double-digit turnovers in five of those games. They have won the rebounding battle in five games as well. A big reason for that has been the return of Mitchell Robinson, who returned from a fractured thumb. But in three games since returning, Robinson has a double-double in each game, including 10 points and 13 rebounds last night.
Julius Randle has been playing great as well. Randle had 23 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in the win over the Celtics. Over the last six games, Randle is averaging 28.5 points per game, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. He is also shooting 38% from three-point range.
Then there is Jalen Brunson, the best free agent signing of the offseason and one of the best the Knicks have made in a long time. Brunson’s play has been consistent all season long. Over his last six games, Brunson is averaging 26.0 points per game, 5.3 assists, and 4.0 rebounds.
Brunson’s former Villanova teammate Josh Hart, whom the Knicks acquired at the trade deadline, has been a great addition. Hart is averaging 13.8 points per game, 5.3 rebounds, and 3.2 assists during the win streak. But the most important number is 63.2, which Hart shoots from a three-point range. Hart is also averaging 1.2 steals per game.
The other guys have stepped up as well. Immanuel Quickley, who had 23 points in the win over the Celtics, is averaging 15.8 points per game over the last six games. Obi Toppin, Quentin Grimes, and Isaiah Hartenstein have had moments during the stretch.
The Knicks’ next three games are massive. They will play the Nets and Heat, competing for that fifth seed before a rematch with the Celtics in Boston.

What If (Pro-Wrestling Edition)- What if AEW and WWE came together and mashed the best of the best in each specialized battle royal? Part 1

By Allison Weiner

Welcome to What If? (Pro Wrestling Edition). In this series, I give a predicament that could or could have potentially happened in the pro wrestling universe. In this blog, I would like to discuss in my 2nd edition of this blog……What if AEW and WWE came together and mashed the best of the best in each specialized battle royal?

How will this be done? Let’s look at the famous battle royals that WWE and AEW have. Those would be the Royal Rumble for WWE and the Casino Battle Royale and the Royal Rampage for AEW. The Royal Rumble is usually a 30-man or woman battle royal where each person gets a number and after the first 2 entries come out, one will enter in after a small period of time. The Casino Battle Royale is similar to the Royal Rumble, but instead of it being one at a time, whichever 21 people have a certain suit they drew will enter at a certain time.  Finally, The Royal Rampage is like the Royal Rumble, but with 2 rings.

I have decided to bring in a Forbidden Door/Worlds Collide Battle Royale Mashup that the women competing will participate in a 21-Woman Casino Battle Royale due to wanting the best quality superstars. The tag teams will compete in a 24-tag team Royal Rampage as it would be interesting to see a match like this with the use of 2 rings. Finally, we will bring back the Greatest Royal Rumble and make it a 50-man Royal Rumble.

*Disclaimer: Jon Moxley and Roman Reigns are not on any of these lists as they deserve a match of their own, and Bray Wyatt is not on any list as we have only seen 1 match out of him since his return to WWE. Cody Rhodes and MJF are not on this list as I feel either of them will face the winner of the 50-man Royal Rumble at a PPV of their choice and could face each other in this type of event.

Below are the entries for each famous battle royal….

AEW WomensWWE WomensAEW Tag TeamsWWE/NXT Tag TeamsAEW MensWWE Mens
Dr. Britt Baker D.M.DBecky LynchBest Friends
(Baretta & Taylor)
(Kaiser & Vinci)
Kenny OmegaDrew McIntyre
Ruby SohoNatalyaButcher & The BladeStreet ProfitsNick JacksonSheamus
SarayaBayleyDark Order
(Reynolds & Silver)
Judgment Day
(Priest & Mysterio)
Matt JacksonGunther
Jaime HayterAsukaHouse of Black
(Matthews & King)
The O.C.
(Gallows & Anderson)
Chris JerichoThe Miz
Nyla RoseLiv MorganGunn ClubViking RaidersHangman Adam PageBrock Lesnar
AthenaBianca BelairTop Flight
(Dante & Darius Martin)
Brawling Brutes
(Holland & Butch)
Darby AllinBobby Lashley
RihoRaquel RodriguezYoung BucksLegado Del Fantasma
(Wilde & Escobar)
Sammy GuevaraSami Zayn
Hikaru ShidaShayna BaszlerFTRAlpha AcademyBryan DanielsonKevin Owens
Toni StormRhea RipleyLucha BrosThe Creed Bros.Brody KingSeth Rollins
Jade CargillCharlotte FlairRed Dragon
(O’Reilly & Fish)
(Mark Coffey & Wolfgang)
Malakai BlackFinn Balor
Alexa BlissJAS
(Menard & Parker)
Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin Jay LethalDamian Priest
The AcclaimedUsosAdam ColeDominick Mysterio
HookRey Mysterio
Jungle Boy Jack PerryBraun Strowman
Claudio CastagnoliAJ Styles
Wheeler YutaShinsuke Nakamura
Mark BriscoeKofi Kingston
Samoa JoeXavier Woods
Max CasterElias
Anthony BowensAustin Theory
Orange CassidyRandy Orton
WardlowMatt Riddle
Eddie KingstonJohnny Gargano
CM PunkTomasso Ciampa
Ricky StarksEdge

Stay tuned for part 2 of this edition of What If?

Comment Below how your entry prediction and who should win each famous battle royale.

Singing The Blues

By: Mike Rifkin

Thursday night, after the Blues lost 3-2 in overtime to the Canucks, Head Coach Craig Berube let his frustrations out on his team. Berube said, “A lot of our best players aren’t doing their jobs.” Berube continued to say, “Our best players don’t play with any passion, no emotion, and no inspiration at all. They don’t play inspired hockey. You cannot play in this league without emotion, grit, and being inspired. They’re getting paid lots of money, and they’re not doing the job. End of story.” 

For the Blues, it was their fourth consecutive loss, and they are 3-6-1 in their last ten games and are currently 11 points out of a playoff spot. But Berube is right; his best players have struggled over this stretch. Robert Thomas has zero points and is a minus -8 in the last four games, Jordan Kyrou has one assist and is a -6, Braden Schenn has zero points, and minus 3, and Justin Faulk has a goal and assist and is a minus-5. Thomas and Kyrou have eight-million-dollar extensions that kick in starting next season. Brayden Schenn is signed through 2028 with a cap hit of 6.5 million dollars, with a full no-trade clause. Justin Faulk is signed through 2027-28, also at a cap hit of 6.5 million dollars. To show the struggles this team has had, both Kyrou and Schenn are -28 on the season, Thomas is -7, and Faulk is -16. These players are four of the Blues’ top six scorers.

 With this team 11 points out of a playoff spot, management has already started selling off pieces. They traded star winger Vladimir Tarasenko to the Rangers and their captain Ryan O’Reilly to the Toronto Maple Leafs. There has been chatter around forward Ivan Barbashev as well. 

But if you take the trade talks away, the Blues, for me, have been the biggest disappointment in the NHL. They were a team that could still compete for the Stanley Cup, which they won in 2019, but they haven’t played well all season. This team last year was third in the Central Division. They beat the Minnesota Wild in six games before losing to the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche in six games. The most telling stat about the Blues is that last year they were +69 in goal differential, and this year they are -34. 

The guy that needs to get a finger pointed his way is goaltender Jordan Binnington. Binnington, who was fantastic when the Blues won the Cup, has struggled since. Every year since winning the Cup, Binnington’s Goals Against Average has risen, and his save percentage has dropped. This season the save percentage is .894, while the GAA is 3.28. Because of salary cap reasons, the Blues traded Ville Husso to the Red Wings. Husso is 23-13-5 with a 2.85 GAA and a .907 save percentage. Binnington is signed through 2027-28 with a six-million-dollar cap hit. But the other thing that will drive people crazy about Binnington is his tough-guy antics. 

The Blues are the most disappointing team in the NHL this season, even though they have started to sell off pieces. They will continue to be one fascinating team over the next week until the trade deadline and the summer. 

Gearing Up For Something Big

By: Mike Rifkin

Let’s be honest about the 2022 Tennessee Titans. They collapsed. They were 7-3 before losing their final seven games to finish with a 7-10. On Wednesday, the Titans announced they had cut Left Tackle Taylor Lewan, Wide Receiver Robert Woods, Linebacker Zach Cunningham, and Kicker Randy Bullock. These four moves save the Titans 37.7 million dollars in salary cap space. The Titans entered this offseason about 23.3 million dollars over the cap. 

I don’t believe the Titans are done, either. Next on the list might be quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who, if the Titans cut, they’d get hit for 9.6 million dollars on the cap. If they keep Tannehill, they would owe him 36 million dollars. Tannehill last season played in 12 games and had a 65.2 completion percentage for 2,536 yards, 13 touchdowns, and six interceptions. The Titans also drafted Malik Willis in the third round of the NFL Draft last year, but most experts still think he needs to sit. Willis played in eight games and didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but he did rush for one and threw three interceptions. With Tannehill injured and Willis not ready, the Titans turned to Josh Dobbs to play in the final two games of the regular season. 

With Tannehill a potential cap casualty and Willis not ready to start, I wonder if the Titans will enter the quarterback market. But I’m thinking about the deep end of the market. There are two names. Aaron Rodgers, who was linked to the Titans last offseason, was one of them. Many people don’t think Rodgers will stay in Green Bay, and a change of scenery is likely. Why not go to the AFC South and win a division that isn’t that strong? The other name I have been thinking about is Tom Brady. Brady announced his retirement, but do we think it’s real this time? He will play football once football season starts, and he’s not in a uniform. Brady played with Titans coach Mike Vrabel in New England for years, so they could likely lure Tom back for one more year. It was also announced that Brady’s contract with Fox will not start until 2024, so let the speculation begin. 

The Titans made some big moves on Wednesday, and now we wait to see what’s next. Do they go big game hunting on a quarterback, or do they consider this a rebuild/retool now? Either way, it will be a curious off-season for the Titans

    Colts Season In Review/Offseason Preview

By: Mike Rifkin

The 2021 Indianapolis Colts ended their season with a bad taste in their mouth. The 2022 Colts never got the taste out. The Colts finished the season with a 4-12-1 record and were arguably the biggest disappointment in football. But with one of the major disappointments, hopefully, there were some realizations. Head Coach Frank Reich was fired during the season and was replaced by former Colts Center Jeff Saturday. The Colts announced hiring Shane Steichen to be their next head coach. Steichen was the Eagles’ Offensive Coordinator this past season.

Since Andrew Luck retired before the 2019 season, the Colts have placed band-aids at the quarterback position. A bandaid means that it’s a veteran quarterback who isn’t the long-term solution. They used Philip Rivers and Carson Wentz, and this past season traded for Matt Ryan from the Falcons. Ryan completed 67% of his passes and had 14 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. In 12 games played, Matt Ryan was sacked 38 times. Matt Ryan, Nick Foles, and Sam Ehlinger were sacked 60 times, which was second in the NFL. In 2021 the Colts gave up 32 sacks. 

Jonathan Taylor had an MVP-caliber season in 2021, where he ran for 1,811 yards and 18 touchdowns. He averaged 106.5 yards per game. 2022 was a different story. Taylor was limited to 11 games due to injury and ran for 861 yards and four touchdowns while averaging 78.3 yards per game. In 2022 Taylor had two 100-yard rushing games; he had 10 in 2021. 

Michael Pittman was coming off his first 1,000-yard season with a good 2022 with 99 receptions for 925 yards and four touchdowns. There was a significant drop off between Pittman and the second leading receiver Parris Campbell, who had 63 catches for 623 yards and three touchdowns. Rookie Alec Pierce had 41 catches for 593 yards and two touchdowns. 

In 2021 the Colts’ defense was middle of the pack regarding total defense. The defense was near the bottom of the league regarding sacks but was second in turnover differential. In 2022 the Colts’ defense improved in total yards and jumped into the top ten in sacks. They were last in turnover differential at a -13. They were +14 in 2021. Shaquille Leonard, who in 2021 had 122 total tackles, eight forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and four interceptions, was limited to three games this season due to back surgery. 2021 first-round pick Kwity Paye had six sacks; the trio of Paye, Yannick Ngakuke, whom the Colts got from the Raiders, and DeForest Buckner combined 23.5 sacks. Linebacker Zaire Franklin was fourth in the NFL with 167 tackles. 


  • Nate Davis/Ben Powers – The Colts’ offensive line was dreadful last season. One of these two guys can fix them.
  • Trade for DeAndre Hopkins – if Hopkins is available, the Colts should look into it. Hopkins tortured the Colts for years as a member of the Texans. It also might not cost a lot to acquire him. The Colts need a game-changer at receiver, whether it’s Hopkins, Odell Beckham, or someone else. 
  • Sign Jamel Dean – Last offseason. The Colts brought in Stephon Gilmore. Dean is 26 years old and has been solid for the Bucs the past few seasons; he and Gilmore could create a dynamic duo. 


RD1 (4) – CJ Stroud – QB – Ohio State. : Could the Colts move up and take Bryce Young? Sure, but if they stay at four, there’s a good chance the Ohio State quarterback will be there for them. Stroud could fit perfectly with Shane Steichen.

RD 2 (35) – Antonio Johnson – CB/S – TEXAS A&M – Long corner who might have to transfer to safety but gives the Colts a solid DB.

RD 3 (79) – Mike Morris – Edge- Michigan. Yannick Ngakoue is set to hit the free agent market. They can replace him with Morris, who can play in either a 4-3 or a 3-4. Morris does have to improve as a pass rusher, but he is solid against the run. This pick would reunite Morris with Kwity Paye, whom he played with at Michigan. 



By Mark Halpern

         Well, we have waited with great exuberance for Baseball to get here, and that time has arrived, but fans of most MLB teams are going to be worried about their star players going off to play in the Olympics of Baseball.

       The World Baseball Classic begins in just about three weeks, and players from all over the world will be participating. It is a great way to bring Baseball together worldwide as the game is played strategically different almost anywhere in the world you go. However, fans of MLB are pretty worried about injuries to their star players and have some asking why the organizations don’t tell them no. The reason is that no team wants to be looked at as holding anyone back from representing their country. So organizations might persuade their players from playing but won’t hold them back either. 

   As a New York Mets fan, I am extremely worried because our entire lineup is basically playing. Players have arrived at their spring training facilities, and the players playing in the WBC will leave in under two weeks to practice with their respective teams. The Mets are poised to have one hell of an AMAZIN  season, and an injury or two to any of them could potentially put speed bumps in the way of that. This doesn’t just go for the MLB but for all countries with their young and veteran stars of their respective teams. Injuries can happen, and if any do, I hope they are so minor that we don’t hear about them.

    I understand what this event means to the entire world, and it will bring the world to its feet just like the World Cup and Olympics do for fans of the world; that is how the old man sees it.


By Mark Halpern

     With the All-Star Weekend kicking off yesterday, February 17th, the NBA announced the finalists for this year’s HOF nominees. The list includes famous names from the NBA, WNBA/NCCAW, and the NCAA. In no order at all, here they are

 1. Dwayne Wade of the Miami Heat.

2. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks

3. Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs

4. Pau Gasol, who played on many great teams

5. San Antonio Spurs coaching legend Gregg Popovich

6. David Hixon, who was Amherst’s coach

7. Gene Keady, longtime coach at Purdue

8. Gene Bess, Legendary Three Rivers Coach

9. Marion Washington, longtime coach at Kanas

10. WNBA Legend Becky Hammon

11. Gary Blair Long time coach at Texas A&M

12. Stanford’s guard Jennifer Azzi.

This is a Phenomenal Class for contention. I saw Most of them who played n the NBA from the beginning of their career till the end. As for the College and WNBA players, I also knew them well. It’s a great class, and I can’t wait to see who gets in.


By Mark Halpern

As many of you may know, Tiger Woods was back in the spotlight yesterday but for the right and wrong reasons. Woods is playing in the Genesis invitational at The Riviera Country Club in Palisades, California. He is joined by the PGA’s top players, including his longtime friend Justin Thomas.

     Throughout history, different sports have had jokes played within the league, pranking one another. Baseball has had the Hot Foot, Bubble Gum on the hat, and stealing a snack from a fan, to give you one example. During yesterday’s second round, Tiger outdrove Justin Thomas on the 9th hole. While walking to get to their next shots, Woods jokingly handed Thomas a Tampon and continued walking. This was an inside joke between friends and nothing more. However, once shown on ESPN and the Golf Channel, many women began complaining that Woods was insensitive to women. This was not Woods’ intention by any means.

    Justin Thomas discarded the item, laughed, and kept walking toward his next shot. While heading to the green, Thomas and Woods were seen laughing, giving a bro hug, and continued playing. Again this was nothing more than a joke amongst longtime friends, and that’s how the old man sees it.

Somebody’s Got Some Explaining To Do

By: Mike Rifkin

When talking about cheating in Baseball, the most recent memory was the 2017 Houston Astros. The punishments were severe, with General Manager Jeff Luhnow and Manager AJ Hinch both suspended for one year, and then both were fired by the organization. Former assistant General Manager Brandon Taubman was also suspended for a year. The Astros organization was fined $5 million, and the team had to forfeit their first, and second-round draft picks for the next two seasons. But the arguably most significant punishment is the mark this left some players. Whether it’s being booed on the road or how voters could see their Hall of Fame candidacy. The Astros did win the World Series last year, so the narrative about 2017 can change. Some people felt the punishment didn’t do enough. There were people mainly from Los Angeles (and some in New York) who wanted the 2017 World Series to be handed to them or act like it never happened. 

For some irony, Evan Drellich of the Athletic has a new book coming out, and in the book, he interviewed an unnamed Boston Red Sox player who said, “The Dodgers have always been the thing that bothers me the most. They’re the biggest cheaters in the industry. They were doing it against us in the 2018 World Series. They got caught by Major League Baseball, and Major League Baseball did nothing.” The 2018 Red Sox were also investigated for cheating. The replay guy got suspended for a season, and they had to forfeit a second-round pick. The Red Sox suffered from the Astros cheating scandal when Manager Alex Cora was suspended for the 2020 season but was brought back. 

What makes the Dodgers special? If Major League Baseball did know that the Dodgers were cheating, why was nothing done? People have already passed judgment on the Astros and the Red Sox. So if the Dodgers cheated in both World Series, as the report in the book says, then commissioner Rob Manfred should tell the fans all of these findings. Now if he never looked into the allegations against the Dodgers, he has to explain that. Everyone is watching Manfred’s next move, no matter what he says. The sign stealing and cheating scandals under Manfred has happened too often.