Power Rankings: Post Week 1

Eight of the sixteen games Week 1 provided us with were won by four points or less. There were a lot of surprises and many disappointments. Where do the teams rank after Week 1? Let’s find out.

1. Denver Broncos
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A lot was lost in defense in the offseason, but Von Miller and company stepped up to the plate with a bend but not break attitude. QB Trevor Siemian wasn’t to shabby either in his first career start.

2. New England Patriots
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A win over a lot of people’s Super Bowl favorite, without the best QB and TE in the game? Yeah, New England did that.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 12: Running back DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores a fourth quarter touchdown past strong safety DeAngelo Hall #23 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 12, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
LANDOVER, MD – SEPTEMBER 12: Running back DeAngelo Williams #34 of the Pittsburgh Steelers scores a fourth quarter touchdown past strong safety DeAngelo Hall #23 of the Washington Redskins at FedExField on September 12, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

No Le’Veon Bell? No problem. DeAngelo Williams totaled for over 170 yards and two TDs. I would’ve harped over Antonio Brown but what’s the point? The performance he displayed Monday night has become expected. Anything less is considered a bad game.

4. Green Bay Packers

JACKSONVILLE, FL - SEPTEMBER 11:  Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers runs after catching a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
JACKSONVILLE, FL – SEPTEMBER 11: Jordy Nelson #87 of the Green Bay Packers runs after catching a pass against the Jacksonville Jaguars in their game at EverBank Field on September 11, 2016 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers and company got into a cat fight with the Jaguars. Having Jordy Nelson back has opened this offense back up. Nothing to panic about over here.

5. Arizona Cardinals
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“This defense is going to be one of the best this year.” That wasn’t on display Sunday night. Arizona lost to a backup QB that was missing it’s best target.

6. Carolina Panthers

Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass the ball under pressure from Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 8, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) looks to pass the ball under pressure from Denver Broncos outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett (48) in the third quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

It’s nothing like ending your season last year and opening your season this year, in the same fashion. Losing to a great defense is acceptable, even though there were many missed helmet to helmet calls on Cam Newton. Carolina will bounce back, especially with a healthy Kelvin Benjamin.

7. Seattle Seahawks
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Speaking of panic, if you would’ve told me the Seahawks were going to beat the Dolphins by two measly points in Seattle, I would’ve called the insane asylum. Seattle needs to get that offensive line straightened out ASAP.

8. Cincinnati Bengals
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Andy Dalton had a helluva game against the Jets completing 77% of his passes for over 350 yards. More performances like that could lead Cinncy into the top 5 of this list in the future.

9. Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 11:  Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs is congratulated by teammates after scoring a touchdown to win the game against the San Diego Chargers in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – SEPTEMBER 11: Quarterback Alex Smith #11 of the Kansas City Chiefs is congratulated by teammates after scoring a touchdown to win the game against the San Diego Chargers in overtime at Arrowhead Stadium on September 11, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Many have this team as the AFC West favorite. If not for Chargers WR Keenan Allen going down with an ACL tear, Kansas City might’ve been booed out of Arrowhead Stadium.

10. Oakland Raiders

Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders catches a pass over Delvin Breaux #40 of the New Orleans Saints completing a two-point conversion to take the lead late in the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
Michael Crabtree #15 of the Oakland Raiders catches a pass over Delvin Breaux #40 of the New Orleans Saints completing a two-point conversion to take the lead late in the second half of a game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on September 11, 2016 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)

Go for two when you can just kick the XP and force OT? Hell yeah! Jack Del Rio lives on the wild side. These are the games Oakland has to win to be considered a threat.

11. Minnesota Vikings
The offense played horrible, but the defense stepped up and held Tennessee under 17 points. They have to get AP going to be successful offensively this year.

12. New York Jets
Apparently A.J. Green has bought Revis Island because he absolutely owned DR Sunday afternoon. This secondary can’t have QBs like Andy Dalton slanging the ball wherever he wants if they want to compete this year, even if the front seven sacked Dalton seven times.

13. Baltimore Ravens
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Baltimore did a good job of containing Lesean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor. Mike Wallace is proving he can still take the top off of defenses as well that could lead to one on one matchups for other WRs.

14. New York Giants

Sep 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) reacts after catching a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. New York won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz (80) reacts after catching a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. New York won 20-19. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Giants Run Defense looked really good, being able to get off of blocks against the best OL in the league and make tackles. The Run Offense looked pretty good as well.

15. Houston Texans
Brock Osweilers first career throw as a Houston Texan resulted in an interception. He was able to settle in after that. How about that Lamar Miller guy? Over 110 yards in his Texan debut.

16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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Jameis “The Great” Winston is starting the season off with a bang. Four TDs against a “new and improved” Falcons defense. The Tampa Defense was good last year and will do the same this year. If this offense plays like that every week, watch out!

17. Dallas Cowboys
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A tough divisional loss to start the season is pretty devastating, but with a rookie QB that showed poise and a backup RB that was very efficient, Dallas shouldn’t hang their heads to low. With a little more patience from Ezekiel Elliott behind that massive line, Dallas will win games this year.

18. Philadelphia Eagles
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Yeah, it may have been the Browns, but a very efficient first drive by rookie QB Carson Wentz that lead to his first career TD set the tone for the Philadelphia Eagles. That defense looked good with Jim Schwartz at the helm as Defensive Coordinator.

19. Buffalo Bills
Would’ve expected a better offensive showing from Tyrod Taylor and company. The defense played well, but the offense has to put up more than single digits to win these type of games.

20. Washington Redskins
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This game had the feel of a playoff atmosphere. And by that I mean the Redskins start off well and have all the momentum against a good team, only to self-destruct and have the game out of reach. Kirk Cousins threw at least one TD in every game last year. He started this season off with a goose egg against an average, at best, defense.

21. Jacksonville Jaguars
Another game that came down to the final minutes, Jacksonville wasn’t able to complete the comeback against Green Bay. This team won’t be an easy out on the schedule.

22. New Orleans Saints
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Up 14 in the fourth quarter just to give up 22 points and lose by a late two point conversion? Yeah, that’s the summary for the Saints last weekend. The offense is there, but the defense has to get better to at least competed for a Wild Card spot.

23. Detroit Lions
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Theo Riddick came through for Detroit. Ameer Abdullah didn’t look bad either. Offensively this team doesn’t look like they miss Calvin Johnson. Shootouts will be the only way the win games this year.

24. Miami Dolphins
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Many believed it would be a blow out , but Miami had other plans. Even though they didn’t win the game, this team showed a lot offbeat and played one of the NFC’s toughest teams right down to the end. This type of game can give a team a lot of confidence.

25. Indianapolis Colts
Sunday was filled with comebacks. That’s exactly what Indianapolis allowed Detroit to do to them. Like the Saints, the Colts offense is basically there, but the defense is a liability.

26. Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones was kept in check for most of the game, and Devonta Freeman looks to have lost his hold as the number one back in this offense.

27. San Diego Chargers
Losing Keenan Allen for the season is a huge blow to this San Diego Offense. Before he went down, they were clicking on all cylinders being up 27-10. After though, KC went on to score 23 unanswered points.

28. San Francisco 49ers

Sep 12, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Shaun Draughn (24) rushes against Los Angeles Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) during the first half of an NFL game at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 12, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Shaun Draughn (24) rushes against Los Angeles Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) during the first half of an NFL game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Chip Kelly’s offense looked good Monday night against a decent Rams defense. The defense was what everybody was talking about though, as they pitched a shutout.

29. Chicago Bears

Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA;  Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) grabs the leg of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the second half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 11, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) grabs the leg of Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the second half at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Jeremy Langford showed this team will be able to manage some without Matt Forte and Kevin White will help take pressure off of Alshon Jeffery . Outside of that, nothing has changed for Chicago

30. Tennessee Titans
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This defense played well against Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings. Not one offensive TD was allowed and AP was bottled up. If this offense can match the effort put up by the defense, Tennessee can surprise many in the AFC South.

31. Los Angeles Rams
Zero points in offense and 28 points allowed on defense is a recipe for disaster. To make matters worse, the player that LA drafted number one overall, wasn’t even active. On the bright side, the Rams were able to showcase there punter many, many times…..It’s going to be a long season in LA.

32. Cleveland Browns
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RGIII on I.R. after the first game of the season? Nothing will ever change. The end.

Week 1 Predictions and Fan Duel Lineup

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It seemed as if it was moving at a snails pace, but football is finally back. With a lot of interesting matchups in Week 1, we may find out quickly who is a contender, and who is a pretender. Which teams take home the W? Let’s check it out.

Carolina Panthers @ Denver Broncos

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) against the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) against the Denver Broncos during Super Bowl 50 at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Since the NFL moved the first game of the season to TNF with the host being the defending Super Bowl Champions in 2004, the team that held up the Lombardy Trophy seven months prior are 10-2. Make that 10-3 after the Carolina Panthers beat the Denver Broncos in a nail bitter thanks to Cam Newtons two passing touchdowns.

Outcome: Panthers 20 Broncos 17

Jacksonville Jaguars @ Green Bay Packers
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Many believe the Jaguars can be a playoff contender in 2016. They will be tested early, especially this week. Behind Eddie Lacys 120 yards rushing and one score, the Jaguars will have to build on something come week 2.

Outcome: Packers 28 Jaguars 24

Buffalo Bills @ Baltimore Ravens
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This game will be all about the defense. With a healthy Joe Flacco though, Baltimore squeezes out a win over the Rex and Rob Ryan led Bills.

Outcome: Ravens 17 Bills 13

San Diego Chargers @ Kansas City Chiefs
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The Chargers come in the healthiest they have been in years, as the Vhiefs limp along missing a few pieces to that defense. In somewhat of a shootout look for the Chiefs defense to make a critical stop late in the 4th.

Outcome: Chiefs 31 Chargers 27

Minnesota Vikings @ Tennessee Titans
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No Teddy Bridgewater? No problem for Minnesota….at least in week 1. Look for the Minnesota Vikings defense to stop almost everything Tennessee throws, or runs for that matter, at them.

Outcome: Vikings 24 Titans 9

Chicago Bears @ Houston Texans

Nov 11, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA;  Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) makes a tackle on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 11, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) makes a tackle on Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) during the first quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

A new signal caller and healthy running back has Houston feeling good about their chances this year. A matchup against Chicago in week 1 is exactly what the doctor prescribed. Behind Lamar Millers two rushing touchdowns, Houston will start the season off in a positive way.

Outcome: Texans 24 Bears 14

Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Atlanta Falcons
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A great divisional matchup to start off the season will let us know if Tampa Bay is who we think they are. Thanks to the leg of second round pick Aguyo, Tampa Bay starts 1-0 on both the season and in the division.

Outcome: Buccaneers 23 Falcons 20 OT

Cleveland Browns @ Philadelphia Eagles
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The RGIII era has begun in Cleveland. So has the Carson Wentz era in Philadelphia. Thanks to a better defense, look for the Eagles to apply an ample amount of pressure on Griffin and force a total of four turnovers.

Outcome: Eagles 23 Browns 10

Oakland Raiders @ New Orleans Saints
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Oaklands defense will be great this year. It just won’t be on display in week 1 as Drew Brees and his new weapons light up the scoreboard.

Outcome: Saints 31 Raiders 23

Cincinnati Bengals @ New York Jets
Jets Bengals Football

With no weapon outside of AJ Green in the receiving corps, the Jets defense won’t have to game plan too hard. Behind a defense that will cause three turnovers and a QB that will throw two touchdowns, the Jets will take care of Cincinnati.

Outcome: Jets 24 Bengals 16

Detroit Lions @ Indianapolis Colts
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Andrew Luck is back and healthy. Can he return to form from two years ago? With a game against a soft Lions defense, Luck should be able to get back on track and lead his team to a W.

Outcome: Colts 27 Lions 24

New York Giants @ Dallas Cowboys
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Throw out the records and what each team looks like on paper when these two meet up. With a rookie quarterback starting, the Giants will be able to force a couple of turnovers and pull this game out at the end.

Outcome: Giants 31 Cowboys 20

Miami Dolphins @ Seattle Seahawks
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It’s hard to play in Seattle, that much we know. It’s harder to play in Seattle when traveling 3,000 miles across country. Seattle will have this game won at halftime when the score is 24-3.

Outcome: Seahawks 31 Dolphins 10

New England Patriots @ Arizona Cardinals
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No Tom Brady? A BIG problem for the New England Patriots. Jimmy Garoppolo won’t have an easy night against this fire powered defense. Will we see NC State alum, Jimmy Brissett, sometime during this game? It may run across Bill Belichicks mind when Garoppolo has three interceptions by halftime.

Outcome: Cardinals 27 Patriots 16

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Washington Redskins
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Josh Norman has his work cut out for him in the first three weeks of the season. Just focusing on week 1, be prepared to see Antonio Brown dominate him when the two are matched up. Big Ben will find Brown for two touchdowns and lead the steelers to a W.

Outcome: Steelers 27 Redskins 17

Los Angeles Rams @ San Francisco 49ers
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I guess the NFL struggled to pick a second MNF game during week 1. Les by a better defense, the Rams will pull off the win and spoil Chip Kelly’s first game with the 49ers.

Outcome: Rams 20 49ers 13

Fan Duel
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Carson Palmer – $7,900
David Johnson – $8,800
Latavius Murray – $6,800
Deandre Hopkins – $8,400
Golden Tate – $6,900
Travis Benjamin – $5,600
Travis Kelce – $6,400
Roberto Aguayo – $4,500
Eagles D/ST – $4,800

Total: $59,900

The RC Report with special guest Ross Tucker

Ross and RC preview the upcoming NFL Season.

0:00- 2:45-Ross’ trademark podcast intro

2:45-6:00-Free Agency and Josh Norman

6:00-7:55-Bosa holdout

8:00-10:20-Will the Panthers and Cam Regress?

10:21-12:45-Breakthrough teams

12:45- 13:46-Are the Cowboys legit Contenders?

13:46- end-NFC contenders(Green bay, Arizona, Seattle)

Tucker is the host of the popular Ross Tucker Football Podcast as well as the Fantasy Feast: Eatin, Even Money, and The College Draft podcasts all available at RossTucker.com

If you enjoyed this interview or any of our others help spread the word by subscribing on Itunes and giving us a rating. And as always you can find all of our content at Iconoclasticallybombastic.com

Thurman v Porter: The Road To Supremacy Starts Here

On this day, June 25, 2016 two young guns face off to what most are hoping will be the start of a series of challenging match ups at the 147 pound division. Keith “One Time” Thurman, a knockout artist with the potential to end a fight with one punch versus Shawn “Showtime” Porter, a gritty blue collar fighter. The records of both men are impressive given their young careers as Thurman is 26-0 and Porter is 26-1-1 but how will they match up inside the ring?

Thurman’s Assets

Although it has been a few fights...."One Time" power is still very much a concern for opponents facing Keith Thurman
Although it has been a few fights….”One Time” power is still very much a concern for opponents facing Keith Thurman

Thurman is a very athletic fighter with strong hands. I would say after watching both fighters for a while that he’s the more fundamentally sound fighter. He keeps his guard high and works behind quick feet and hands. Rare is it that we find a combination of both speed and power but in Thurman’s case there has been flashes of that throughout his career. Thurman has shown a wide array of punches in his repertoire all with ko potential as he’s managed to stop fights with hooks, jabs, uppercuts both to the body and head. Defensively Thurman is no slouch as he fully utilizes his athletic ability able to slip the majority of hard punches thrown back at him. He has a more traditional guard with his chin tucked and ,thanks to his quick hands, has shown the potential to be an effective counter puncher which makes him extremely dangerous in the ring. For a young fighter Thurman seems to be fully aware of his capabilities as both a knockout puncher and effective counter puncher however if there is one flaw in his attack it’s his reluctance to build behind the jab. With his quick hands he is more than capable of firing off jabs that can be effective due to his strength. Unfortunately with a name like “one time” he gets caught looking for that “one punch” and it can lead to fights being made a lot harder than what they should be, especially if his opponent has a strong chin and good stamina. I personally worry about Thurman’s love for power punching, in the fight before last versus former champion Robert ” Ghost” Guerrero, Thurman landed 211 punches the entire fight. Out of that 211 a 172 were power punches. In his last fight according to compubox Thurman landed just 13 of his 137 jabs thrown for a 9% connect rating. Words can’t really describe how bad that is and if there isn’t any improvement in this area from Thurman he will be in for a tough fight tonight.

Porter’s Assets

It's not always pretty but it wins for Shawn Porter who used to go by the nickname "Pitbull Porter" for his aggressive style
It’s not always pretty but it wins for Shawn Porter who used to go by the nickname “Pitbull Porter” for his aggressive style

Porter does not possess the athleticism of Thurman inside the ring. He’s not as slick or fluent in his movement with his offense or defense as a matter of fact in contrast to Thurman he’s far more rugged. But what he lacks in the skill department he makes up for in tenacity and grit. Porter is an in your face type of fighter, he loves to make fights ugly and uncomfortable for opponents. When I say he likes to make fights ugly it’s rare that Porter allows opponents to box by staying on the outside. He seems very comfortable in fighting throwing wild punches and pushing his opponent around. I hate to say it so bluntly but there’s just not much special about Porters offensive or defensive attributes. He’s a solid fighter and has come a long way with his father as his trainer but I don’t think he does anything better than Thurman. However, with that being said the one thing that has always kept him in the fights and allowed him to become a champion is his will. In my opinion Porter has gotten this far by outworking his opponents more so than relying on any type of skill. In the loss to Kell Brooks a few fights ago I think we got a glimpse of what Porter can do when placed in the ring with someone who possesses a little boxing IQ and skill. Porter did not look good in that fight and was beat to the punch by a cleaner and smarter attack. Brooks effectively countered Porter’s aggression with sharp counter punches and footwork. He also dictated the spacing in the ring due to Porter’s inability to walk him down. The fight was close but in the end the victory went to the sharper fighter in Brooks. Many people like to point to the victory over Broner when they talk about Porter but honestly Broner isn’t that skilled of a fighter.

Keys To Victory

it's been a while since boxing has had two up and coming fighters face off.  Porter v Thurman has generated some excitement among fans of the sport
it’s been a while since boxing has had two up and coming fighters face off. Porter v Thurman has generated some excitement among fans of the sport

For Thurman to win I believe he has to utilize his quick feet and counter punching ability. If he falls in love with the power punches and gets himself tired that’s when Porter can capitalize. Thurman possesses all the tools to dispose of Porter in 7-8 rounds max but he’s yet to fully tap into that potential. He loves knock outs and hasn’t realized that they don’t come so easily when you step up in competition. All the skills like power, speed, and footwork favor Thurman so I think he just needs rely on those things inside the ring in unison. Not just speed or power and sometimes his footwork, but rather everything that he possesses at his disposal.

Porter on the other hand has to be the intelligent fighter. This is also something that I worry about a little as I have not seen Porter and his camp execute any other game plan besides out lasting his opponent and overwhelming them with pressure. This tactic will not work this fight. Porter can try it but I honestly would not recommend walking into Thurman punches as a gameplan. It’s not talked about much but the early portion of Porter’s career was at 154 pounds and I believe as an amateur he has fought as high as 160 so it is not like he can’t take a punch. The combination of the speed and power of a clean Thurman punch however can lead to flash knockdowns and if that happens Porter will find himself in an uphill battle that he does not want to participate in. Porter will need to box to score points but also make it the typical ugly Porter fight. I have noted Thurman’s lack of jab accuracy and that can come into play with a guy who likes to come forward and crowd. If Porter can avoid the one timer he shouldn’t have much of a problem in the later rounds from Thurman much like Robert Guerrero did.

Fight and Prediction

Who will it be One Time?
Who will it be One Time?
Or Showtime
Or Showtime

Thurman has all the tools and in all honesty a guy like Porter should not be hanging around after rounds 8 and 9 with someone of Thurman’s caliber. Porter to me is just a tough kid and Thurman is the real rising star in the sport of boxing. With that being said, Thurman does not fully utilize all his tools in his fights. He’s been somewhat of a dud for the last year and Porter always gives his best effort and that could be enough. I have the fight starting a little slow with both fighters feeling each other out. I do not expect a display of high skill as these are still two guys finding their way in the game. Thurman always goes for the knockout but he will find himself in his third consecutive fight where quite honestly “one time” will not be enough. This fight will go to the cards with a unanimous decision for Keith “One Time” Thurman

….who will call out Floyd Mayweather and say Pacquiao retired to avoid fighting him!

Porter v Thurman
Porter v Thurman

“It’s Not Bragging If You Can Back It Up!” Why Muhammad Ali Truly Was The Greatest Of All Time

There will always be nothing but respect from me for Muhammad Ali as an athlete and as a man. Ali was a polarizing individual, quite possibly the most polarizing individual in American Sports history. From his stance on the Vietnam war and civil rights, to his ability to rhyme and entertain the masses with his words, wherever Muhammad Ali went the world was watching and listening. There are so many people who have so many personal stories and interactions with the Champ and I truly wish I could have met him before he passed however the closest I could get to Ali was one of his old training sites in Miami. I was on my way back to Richmond and had stumbled upon the gym looking for a gym to exercise in while I was in Miami and every day I went by it was closed. It just so happened that someone was cleaning the place when I was headed out and allowed me to walk in. To think that I was standing in the same spot that an 18 year old Ali (at the time he was still known as Cassius Clay) stood when he requested the services of Angelo Dundee, trained and beat Sonny Liston, it was almost too much for me to handle as a boxing fan. I remember standing there looking at the pictures on the wall, a few of his belts and even throwing some punches at a heavy bag that he apparently used (not really sure I believe that but it looked extremely ancient) bouncing around attempting to shuffle my feet. I might have stayed in there for hours if the janitor did not kick me out. I soaked in the moment one final time, took a few pictures before my phone battery died and went on to board the plane back to Richmond. Looking back it never dawned on me to think of a time when Ali would not be here but that day has sadly come and while others have more credentials than I when it comes to speaking about Ali, I feel the need to put some words to paper for someone that has inspired not only me but so many others.

‘It’s hard to be humble, when you’re as great as I am.’

A young Ali was quite the entertainer
A young Ali was quite the entertainer

Nobody had the gift of gab like Muhammad Ali. His only match for wit and comebacks might have been his partner in crime Howard Cosell. Their back and forth interviews are as comical as they are informative. A young Ali was surgical with his verbal barrages on opponents outside the ring. It did not just start with calling Foreman ugly or Frazier a gorilla, Ali was rapping and styling around fighters before he even got a championship fight! ”To make America the greatest is my goal, so I beat the Russian and I beat the Pole. And for the USA won the medal of gold. The Greeks said you’re better than the Cassius of old” This was just one of many examples of a young Ali establishing his place as one of the best talkers in boxing early and has he would later hint, it was all part of his plan to build himself to be larger than life. Boxing is just as much of a mental sport as it is a physical sport and while we can say that about every sport, there is something about 1 v 1 competition that takes the mental game to a whole other level. When Ali said something you know he meant it and he had no problem with letting you or anybody else know about it. Ali was so good at trash talking that there is even some out here who think he helped create rap as we know it. He was without a doubt one of a kind when it came to trash talk.

‘I am the greatest, I’m the greatest that ever lived. I don’t have a mark on my face’

After defeating Liston  ( a man many viewed as indestructible) a young Ali really shocked the world at the age of 22
After defeating Liston ( a man many viewed as indestructible) a young Ali really shocked the world at the age of 22

Often times when we look back on our sports legends and heroes we tend to skip over the beginning and just start at the good part. With that being said most people when they talk about Ali just start with Sonny Liston, the iconic picture, and the “I am the greatest” quote. I always find it funny that prior to the Sonny Liston fight and young Ali had be hurt a few times in his career and even had Liston ringside at a fight commenting that he couldn’t fight Ali because “they would arrest him for murder.” Ali did not do himself any favors before stepping in the ring with Sonny Liston as he had been knocked down twice and in one fight against Henry Cooper needed the assistance of his corner to stall long enough to get his wits about him before the bell. With that being said I think a lot of people do not realize just how imposing of a champion Sonny Liston was at the time. Liston was so intimidating that the man who had Ali out on his feet , Henry Cooper and his trainer, were quoted as saying if Liston won they had no intentions of meeting him in the ring or “walking down the street.” So when the 7:1 underdog Ali won and declared himself “The Greatest” he kind of had a point. There have been many claims to the title of the greatest since Ali’s time but in regards to boxing there hasn’t been many who have a resume as impressive as Ali. He was a champion at 22, defeated two of the hardest punchers in the sports history in Liston and Foreman, and has one of the most memorable rivalries in sports history with Joe Frazier. If not for the layoff and political distractions involved with his affiliation with Nation of Islam Ali could have been even greater as a fighter than what we know now.

‘I know where I’m going and I know the truth, and I don’t have to be what you want me to be. I’m free to be what I want.’

Not everyone was happy about Ali's conversion to Islam.  Malcolm X guided him early in his career but when Malcolm split from the Nation, he and Ali grew distant
Not everyone was happy about Ali’s conversion to Islam. Malcolm X guided him early in his career but when Malcolm split from the Nation, he and Ali grew distant

Often times when we as fans look at sporting events we never learn the full story behind what it took to create that event. Those stories behind the events are more entertaining than the event itself at times and Ali versus Liston is no exception. Leading up to the first fight Ali was known to hang with Malcolm X and members of the Nation of Islam (henceforth referred to as the NOI). At the time of the first Liston fight the NOI was considered a radical group of African-Americans who hated white people and preached violence. As the story goes the promoters threatened to call off the fight if Ali did not renounce the NOI and his affiliation with Malcolm X. Ali’s father even spoke out against he NOI stating ” They ruined my two boys, muslims tell them to hate white people, hate their mother, and hate women.” There’s no telling how hectic things became but Malcolm X eventually agreed to keep a low profile until the night of the fight and through all the criticism and pressure Ali never renounced the NOI. It is said that the promotion loss close to $300,000 because of this and you can imagine the reaction from the world when before the second fight with Liston, Muhammad Ali publicly embraced the NOI, Malcolm X and Elijah Mohammad. The NOI did not fully embrace Ali until after he defeated Liston the first time, under the guidance of Malcolm X, Ali would learn to embrace his new found platform as heavyweight champion and also find his calling in the Islamic faith. Elijah Mohammad himself gave the name Mohammad Ali to the young Cassius Clay and although there seems to be a few different translations the consensus is that it means “one worthy of praise.”

‘Get up and fight, sucker!’

probably the most iconic photo of his boxing career.  The short lived Ali v Liston II is still debated today.  This photo is often misinterpreted as Ali gloating but in actuality he was upset that the anchor punch had actually knocked Liston down.  " Get up and fight sucka"
probably the most iconic photo of his boxing career. The short lived Ali v Liston II is still debated today. This photo is often misinterpreted as Ali gloating but in actuality he was upset that the anchor punch had actually knocked Liston down. ” Get up and fight sucka”

Prior to the first fight there was a carefully worded rematch clause that allowed Liston’s promoters to promote Ali’s next fight. Rematch clauses are the norm in today’s boxing however at this particular time the WBA forbid rematch clauses and seeing that the information was kept separate from the main contract it did not sit well with the sanctioning body. So when the rematch was announced the WBA stripped Ali and dropped Liston from their rankings. Due to his open affiliation with the NOI and controversial figure Malcolm X the second fight with Liston was more of a circus than an actual fight. Several months before the fight would take place Malcolm X left the NOI and severed his friendship with Ali. When he was assassinated rumors spread that his supporters would retaliate by attacking Ali. There was controversy with Liston as well, rumors started to circulate that his promoter was tied to the mafia then Liston was arrested for drunk driving and carrying a pistol. This scared many boxing commissions from approving the fight so when Massachusetts said they would host it looked as though the promotion was saved.All the commotion and fear surrounding both fighters is ultimately why the fight ended up in a little known town of Lewiston, Maine. The second Liston fight proved to be one of the most debated knockouts in boxing history. The fight started and ended before most people even sat down and at the time was one of the quickest knockouts in heavyweight history. I’m sure we have all seen the iconic photo of Ali standing over top of a groggy Liston but many people don’t like to talk about the actual event that led up to that photo. Liston went for the kill on Ali and was countered with a right hand flush on the chin. The debate comes in as to whether Liston was actually hit or not and some say the photo taken isn’t Ali bragging but angrily telling Liston to get up because he did not think he hit him. The distraction caused by Ali interrupted the refs count and while Liston eventually got up the timekeeper had officially counted him out. The fight ended at exactly 2:12 and Ali had once again shocked the world.

‘Man I ain’t got no quarrel with them Vietcong’

The draft dodging accusations were detrimental to Ali's early career.  In the face of extreme public scrutiny he never backed down
The draft dodging accusations were detrimental to Ali’s early career. In the face of extreme public scrutiny he never backed down

With such a quick rise to fame and the backing of powerful figures around the nation it would have been very easy for Ali to lose himself. Yet we find that the young Ali was willing to risk everything for what he believed in. I think a lot of people are unaware that Ali had enlisted in the military two years before he was arrested for draft dodging. His IQ score wasn’t high enough and when the government wanted to increase their military presence in Vietnam they lowered the standards which meant Ali qualified. It is said that support of the Vietnam war was over 50% when Ali refused enter the draft. A month after Ali’s famous line, support for the war dropped below 50% and in a year it was as low as 27%. Ali essentially destroyed his career after denouncing the war, he was stripped of his boxing license in all 50 states and publicly ridiculed. People he once considered friends, like Jackie Robinson, spoke out in opposition to Ali’s stance. How could Ali, a man who has found success in America, turn his back on his fellow Americans fighting in Vietnam? Ali remained steadfast though, questioning the reasons behind the war and methods of recruitment. “The government had a system where the rich man’s son went to college, and the poor man’s son went to war,” he said. In order to try to maintain some level of income Ali was forced to fight outside of the United States but no closed circuit establishment show his fight so all the promotions lost money. Eventually Ali started traveling the country speaking out on the war at colleges and rallies around the country. Knowing what I know about Ali the person I feel as though he would frown at the idea of calling his three and a half year hiatus from boxing a waste. In fact he was very productive and influential to the civil rights movement and anti-war movement of the 60’s and as support for the war faded many people began to support Ali and in 1971 his conviction was overturned. For all that he did in his career Ali’s stance on the Vietnam war and willingness to stand fast to his beliefs amid criticism from even people he called friend was undoubtedly one of the main attributes that make him The Greatest of All Time.

‘Only a man who knows what it is like to be defeated can reach down to the bottom of his soul and come up with the extra ounce of power it takes to win when the match is even.’

"I had seen Frazier kill many a man with that left hand.  Ali took it and then got up in three seconds" - Ringside observer at the "Fight of the Century"  which would see Ali lose for the first time in his career
“I had seen Frazier kill many a man with that left hand. Ali took it and then got up in three seconds” – Ringside observer at the “Fight of the Century” which would see Ali lose for the first time in his career

Post Vietnam protest Ali bothers me a little. I have always personally wondered when he should have stopped fighting and why he kept going. Ali did not seem to possess the lust for money that his predecessor to boxing greatness Sugar Ray Robinson had. He clearly did not care what others thought about him or his legacy in the ring. So I always find myself looking for something, some bread crumb as to why he kept going. Most men take a lay off from boxing and fight a few tune ups, exhibitions and call it a career. Ali came back did the tune ups, exhibitions and then went straight for the top. And it is in his second ascension to the top that I start to see quotes and interviews with Ali that tell me that he knew his work towards greatness was not done. Ali’s fights of the 70’s solidified his hall of fame status and supremacy over the best heavyweights of his era. There’s the trilogy with Joe Frazier their first fight being called ” the Fight of the Century.” The trilogy with Ken Norton and of course the infamous Rumble in the Jungle with George Foreman. The Rumble in the Jungle posed the same threat as the Sonny Liston fight, a strong, knockout artist champion who was coming off a dominant victory. Ali was passed his prime by that time to many observers and his rope-a-dope tactic was ill advised and extremely dangerous. If you look the 70’s Ali took a lot of punishment from some of the heaviest hands in boxing history. This combined with his longevity in the sport is what many believe led to him being diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Ali’s career personified him as an individual, sure he liked to talk to the talk but it was always more satisfying to prove people wrong and defy the odds. As he stated “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

‘I’ve made my share of mistakes along the way, but if I have changed even one life for the better, I haven’t lived in vain.

“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”
“The man who views the world at 50 the same as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

It amazes me how many things he has done that have went under the radar but seem to be jumping out at us today. “Ali stops a gang fight, Ali talks man out of suicide, Ali negotiates the release of 15 American hostages in Iraq.” Looking back on his life you almost get the feeling that even if it were made into a motion picture, the original story would be more entertaining than anything we could create. Ali was larger than life all the way up until his death and the fact that he remained human is what truly makes him the Greatest Of All Time. We all possess the courage to stand up for something when it’s not right, we all possess the ability to inspire, to change but there are not many of us that are willing to be selfless and carry the burdens of our fellow man. Ali did not do things for attention and admiration, Muhammad Ali changed the world by simply being himself. He utilized his fame and notoriety to routinely draw attention to society’s wrongs and the negative connotations associated with being a Muslim. Often times when he helped African-Americans he would be quoted as saying “I am your brother.” In tribute we see a lot of people saying there will never be another Ali and I believe they are right. Our athletes today are too careful with what they say and too aware of what others think about them. They say a lot of things but they do not act on half of what they say so their words ring hollow. Ali was just as much about action, inside and outside the ring, as he was about talking. As with any good story even Ali’s must come to an end. Ali retired from boxing officially in 1981 long pass the time many thought he should have hung it up. The rope-a-dope tactic he utilized for the latter portion of his career was strategically brilliant and also came at a heavy cost. By 1984 Ali was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, something many believe to be a direct result of the punishment taken primarily during the 70s. And while he eventually lost his ability to speak, Ali continued to inspire and lead by example without any voice all the way up to his death. Muhammad Ali never looked away from the injustice facing African-Americans and Muslims alike. He worked tirelessly to become a beacon of the right way for his people and while society has negative views on both African-Americans and Muslims, Ali remained the best example of how we as a people can be better and do better for one another. He is not only one of the greatest boxer of all time, he is one of the greatest human beings of all time. Rest In Peace to the Champ.

Editors note: In recent days there has been a wave of pro black support for Ali. My goal with this article was not to pull Ali to one side, he was apologetically black without a doubt, however he belonged to the world. He was a servant of the people and while he looked out for HIS people most, do not sully his image by making him a symbol for racial violence. Ali stood for peace and equality. We would do well to honor his memory by not circulating these opportunistic articles and memes saying otherwise.

Axalta “We Paint Winners” 400 Preview, Prediction, and DraftKings Lineup

We head to the mountains this week as forty NASCAR drivers compete at the Tricky Triangle. Given its name because of its triangular shape, Pocono Raceway is a unique track.

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In 1990, the race track was revised. The three turns that make up Pocono were inspired by three different race tracks. Turn One is modeled after Trenton Speedway, Turn Two is inspired by Indianapolis Motor Speedway, and Turn Three is a replica of The Milwaukee Mile.

With speeds hitting close to 200 mph on the two long straightaways Pocono holds, who will be able to control their car all the way to Victory Lane? Let’s find out.

Denny Hamlin
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This 12 year veteran has had a lot of success at the Tricky Triangle. He brought the brooms out in 2006 by winning both Pocono races, and has four total at the two and half mile track. Hamlin has been very consistent in his last four races here with one top 5 and three top 10s. Before it’s all said and done Sunday afternoon, Hamlin will make sure his presence is felt amongst the leaders.

Dale Earnhardt Jr
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Just like Hamlin did in 2006, Dale Jr swept Pocono just two years ago. Junebug has been in a slump the past month and a half, but if there is a track to propel him this year, it’s Pocono. In his last five races here, Earnhardt Jr has four top 5s and an average finish of fourth. He typically has success on the two and a half mile tracks so be prepared to see the 88 Chevrolet jockeying for position in the lead group Sunday.

Kyle Larson
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Many would think I’d have Lasron as my wildcard pick, but this three year veteran has shown he has what it takes to compete with the best. A win by Larson should not come by surprise if he takes the checkered flag this weekend. Kyle has raced at Pocono Speedway four times in his career, and he hasn’t finished worse than 12th. As a matter of fact, his average finish at the Tricky Triangle is ninth. He is waiting to breakthrough and capture his first win of his career, and Pocono looks to be a great chance for the young Phenom.

Greg Biffle
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Some may be scratching their heads after seeing the name, but don’t be fooled. Greg Biffle has struggled the past three years, I’ll give you that, but Pocono has been the lone track he’s had success. Two top 5 finishes in his last three races here and a win in 2010, will give this team hope for a solid finish Sunday Afternoon.

Jimmie Johnson

29-31 May, 2015, Dover, Delaware USA Jimmie Johnson ©2015, Matthew T. Thacker NKP
29-31 May, 2015, Dover, Delaware USA
Jimmie Johnson
©2015, Matthew T. Thacker
NKP

It’s been eight races since the number 48 Chevrolet has visited victory lane. Johnson is itching to get more “W’s” in the win column so he can enter the Chase with a little cushion over the fifteen other drivers. There are many tracks that Johnson dominates, and Pocono is near the top of the list. In his 28 starts there, “Six Time” has eleven Top 5s, nineteen Top 10s, and three wins. This track treats Johnson well but he won’t be returning the favor as he does burnouts all over it Sunday afternoon after he takes home the checkered flag.

DraftKings Lineup
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Jimmie Johnson ($10,100)

Denny Hamlin ($9,200)

Brad Keselowski ($9,100)

Tony Stewart ($7,500)

Ryan Newman ($7,100)

Greg Biffle ($7,000)

Total: ($50,000)

RC Report with guest Maureen Ryan

RC Report w/ Maureen Ryan of Variety Magazine

Maureen Ryan and I discuss Game of Thrones, the impact of social media(on tv shows), diversity in Hollywood and more.

0:00-3:15 How Mo got her start as a writer/reviewer

3:15-7:52 The Golden Age of TV and its current expansion.

7:52-12:00 The impact of social media.

12:00-25:45 Women and diversity in television.

25:45-28:40 Under the Radar Shows.

28:40-End Game of Thrones

The RC is a part of IBN. you can find all of our content here: http://www.iconoclasticallybombastic.com/ We’d also appreciate if you’d spread the word by rating us on Itunes, just search IBN.

Maureen lists a bunch of great shows for you to check out. I made of list of them and linked their IMDB pages.

Peaky Blinders
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Jane The Virgin
Fresh off the boat
BoJack Horseman
Mr. Robot
Catastrophe
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2234222/?ref_=nv_sr_1

Coca Cola 600 Preview/Prediction and DraftKings Lineup

The NASCAR schedule takes us to the longest race of the season, The Coca Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Many drivers consider this the third most important race of the season, behind the Daytona 500 and Brickyard 400. With speeds hitting in the high 190s and the bottom, middle, and top grooves all being in use, it’s sure to be fireworks from start to finish. Which driver is going to be able to fend off their competitors for 400 laps at the mile and a half speedway? Let’s find out.

Joey Logano
JL
After winning the All Star Race last week, Joey Logano is looking to put his Shell Penzoil Ford in Victory lane for the first time this year in a points event. Since the All Star Race began in 1985, only seven drivers have completed the sweep, the last being Kurt Busch in 2010. Logano has his work cut out for him if he wants to outlast the other 39 drivers for 600 miles, but with a starting spot on the front row, “Sliced Bread” will be hard to beat.

Jimmie Johnson
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Mr. Six Time hasn’t had great success in recent years at the Coca Cola 600. Take out a first place finish in 2014, and Johnson has an average finish of 25th in his last four May races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Did you read his nickname though in the first sentence? Johnson is a six time champion and a four time Coca Cola 600 winner. You can never count him out. Watch for this team to be consistent all night on pit road and the track.

Carl Edwards
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His first year with Joe Gibbs racing was shaky, but Edwards has turned it around in 2016. With two wins already in the bag, Cousin Carl is setting his sights on a second career and straight Coca Cola 600 win. Over the past five May races at CMS, no one has had better success, besides my race winner (Wait for it), than Edwards. That dominance looks something like this: one win, two top 5s, and three top 10s with an average finish of 8th. The number 19 Arris Toyota will be a top three car Sunday night.

WildCard
Kasey Kahne
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A three time winner of this prestigious race, Kasey Kahne will be looking to jumpstart his 2016 year in the right direction. While he has not been talked about a lot over the past few years, this race track, let alone this race, is one of the best in Kahnes career. With two top three finishes in the last four years here, watch for Kasey to battle up front all night long.

Winner
Kevin Harvick
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It’s no disputing that almost every track on the NASCAR Circuit could be won by Kevin Harvick each and every weekend. If he wants to add a third Coke 600 win to his resume, Harvick will have to pep talk his pit crew so no mistakes happen like they have been the past two seasons. With a top 10 starting spot for Sunday’s race, and an average finish of 4th in his last five races at CMS, be prepared to see Kevin Harvick and his number 4 Jimmy Johns Chevrolet in Victory Lane.

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Draft Kings NASCAR Lineup
1. Kevin Harvick ($10,500)
2. Carl Edwards ($10,300)
3. Kyle Larson ($8,400)
4. Jamie McMurray ($7,300)
5. Ricky Stenhouse Jr ($6,900)
6. Paul Menard ($6,500)
Total: $49,900

Should Kevin Harvick Move to Hendrick Motorsports?

Big shoes had to be filled after a fatal crash at the Daytona 500 in 2001 that involved Dale Earnhardt Sr. A legend was lost and nobody knew what to expect of the rookie that would be filling his seat, Kevin Harvick.

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In just his third race, Harvick drove his number 29 Goodwrench Chevrolet to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway. That year, “The Closer” finished with two wins, six Top 5s, and 16 Top 10’s.

Fast forward 15 years, and the NASCAR veteran is at the top of his game, and one of the best drivers on the circuit. A lot of his success is due to a 2013 offseason move that had Harvick leave Richard Childress Racing, and sign with Stewart-Haas Racing.

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In a little over two years, 84 races to be exact, the pilot of the number four Jimmy Johns Chevrolet has nine wins, 42 Top 5s, 57 Top 10s, and a championship. He has been the best driver in terms of driver rating over that span.

These numbers are great, but with the announcement earlier this year of Stewart-Haas Racing switching to Ford, will his production decline? The statistics say yes. In the same time frame Harvick moved to SHR, a Chevrolet has won 38 races to Ford’s 23. That’s a 15 race differential, almost half a NASCAR season.

A little insight for those that don’t know, SHR gets their engines and chassis from Hendrick Motorsports. So to take those stats a little further, out of the 38 races won by Chevrolet from 2014-2016, 37 were by Hendrick affiliated cars.

With rumors coming out about the possibility of Kevin Harvick opting out of his contract with SHR at the end of the year, and moving to Hendrick Motorsports, the question at hand is, should he do it?

This should be a no brainer for the 16 year veteran. All of the success he has had in this sport has been with a Chevrolet. His most recent success has come from Hendrick supplied engines and chassis. Why move to a new manufacturer where there will be growing pains, when you can stay in the same equipment you’ve been in for the last three years?

SHR will get their engines from Roush Racing. As I said earlier, 23 wins have come from ford since 2013, and 22 of those are from Roush Racing affiliates (Penske Racing). Ford has been struggling with speed for the past five seasons, and has not won a championship since 2004. In that span, Chevrolet has won nine Championships.

The holdup in this process could be that Hendrick Motorsports doesn’t have room for Kevin Harvick, but that problem could quickly be solved. Dale Earnhardt Jr is the money maker, Jimmie Johnson is the championship winner, and Chase Elliott is the up and coming star that has potential through the roof. That leaves one man out of this four car team, Kasey Kahne.

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Many believed when Kahne moved to Hendrick in 2012, the dial was pointing up for him and his career. He was an accomplished driver winning many races with organizations that were above average at best. It has been the complete opposite in this marriage between the two.

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Since joining HMS, Kahne has only five wins in five seasons. It has been nothing but disappointment for the 13 year veteran. Since the Chase for the Sprint Cup reformatted in 2014, Kasey Kahne hasn’t finished better than 15th in the standings.

Putting the possible replacement side by side to the driver that will be cut, the numbers are clearly tilted one way.

Since 2014
Kevin Harvick/Kasey Kahne
9 Wins 1
42 Top 5’s 8
57 Top 10’s 25
5,119 Laps Led 284
1 Championships 0

HOMESTEAD, FL - NOVEMBER 16:  Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
HOMESTEAD, FL – NOVEMBER 16: Kevin Harvick, driver of the #4 Budweiser Chevrolet, celebrates in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Ford EcoBoost 400 and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2014 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

This is a match made in heaven for both Kevin Harvick and Hendrick Motorsports. Harvick will stay in the same equipment he has found the most success in, and Hendrick will add another championship caliber driver to his stable. If I’m Kevin Harvick, I would’ve signed a deal yesterday.