Analyzing NFL Quarterbacks: AFC Edition

Analyzing NFL Quarterbacks: AFC Edition

The fates of the AFC's teams will rest on these men.

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The AFC looks to be lopsided for the 2018 NFL season as it usually is, largely in part to the conference's quarterbacks. There is simply not as much parity in this conference as there is in the NFC. Regardless, there is a lot of variety here, from the seemingly ageless Tom Brady to greenhorns like Sam Darnold and Baker Mayfield. In addition, there are a few quarterbacks from injuries that rendered them unable to play last year like Ryan Tannehill and Andrew Luck. They will have the most to prove this year. How will the AFC's signal-callers fare this upcoming season?

Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

The rookie out of Wyoming possesses a cannon for an arm, but there are concerns about his accuracy. Buffalo drafted Allen to improve its lackluster passing attack, so their fate this season will likely fall on him.

Sam Darnold, New York Jets

Another rookie QB, Darnold was a flashy prospect at USC and clearly possesses incredible talent. He was turnover-happy in his final season in college, but if he can figure everything out, Darnold could be something special.

Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Considered by many to be the greatest quarterback of all time, Brady is still consistently great entering age 41. New England's offense has an abundance of question marks this season, but Brady has faced this situation before and will likely conquer it again.

Ryan Tannehill, Miami Dolphins

This will be a make-or-break year for Tannehill. Coming off a torn ACL, the seventh-year veteran must prove that he can be a formidable QB with new pieces around him.

Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

This season is crucial for Flacco. Baltimore has missed the playoffs for the past three years and the team drafted Louisville star Lamar Jackson to be his possible heir apparent. This may be Flacco's last chance to prove himself not just to the Ravens, but to the NFL.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers

Roethlisberger can still sling the ball in his mid-30s and has perhaps the most talented roster of skill players around him. He has stated that he wishes to play for at least three more years, and he can have a few more prosperous seasons as long as father time eludes him.

Andy Dalton, Cincinnati Bengals

Dalton has never been an elite QB, but he pulled off a miracle last season that allowed Buffalo to clinch their first playoff berth in 18 years. Still a major question mark for this season.

Tyrod Taylor/Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns

Taylor can be an effective, albeit inconsistent dual-threat QB, and this year's first overall pick Mayfield can develop behind him. Mayfield could possibly become the starter if Taylor struggles.

Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

Watson dazzled everyone in his rookie season before a torn ACL put him out of commission. Houston looks to have a very bright future if Watson continues lighting up defenses like he did last year.

Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars

Bortles is perhaps the most maligned quarterback in the NFL. He has not been very impressive throwing the ball, although he has seen success in the short-passing game and running the ball himself.

Marcus Mariota, Tennessee Titans

This is Mariota's most important year yet. After an unspectacular 2017, the talented yet inconsistent Mariota must prove that he can develop into a solid, consistent passer to lead the Titans for years to come.

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts

After rehabilitating his injured shoulder, Luck looks to return to form to bring Indianapolis back to relevance. Can he pick up where he left off?

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Mahomes has a strong arm and can scramble when needed. Time will tell if he pans out as a pro, but he has a stacked supporting cast to get him started.

Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers

The 36-year-old Rivers can still play ball, but father time may be creeping up on him. Now is the time for Rivers to strike.

Case Keenum, Denver Broncos

The surprise story of 2017, Keenum has developed from a journeyman to an efficient starter when given the help he needs. Can he flourish with a different cast around him in Denver?

Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders

Carr experienced significant regression last season and looks to recapture his dominant 2016 form this year. He still has talent, but he must regain his confidence.

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The Coach That Killed My Passion

An open letter to the coach that made me hate a sport I once loved.
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I fell in love with the game in second grade. I lived for every practice and every game. I lived for the countless hours in the gym or my driveway perfecting every shot, every pass and every move I could think of. Every night after dinner, I would go shoot and would not allow myself to go inside until I hit a hundred shots. I had a desire to play, to get better and to be the best basketball player I could possibly be.

I had many coaches between church leagues, rec leagues, personal coaches, basketball camps, middle school and high school. Most of the coaches I had the opportunity to play for had a passion for the game like I did. They inspired me to never stop working. They would tell me I had a natural ability. I took pride in knowing that I worked hard and I took pride in the compliments that I got from my coaches and other parents. I always looked forward to the drills and, believe it or not, I even looked forward to the running. These coaches had a desire to teach, and I had a desire to learn through every good and bad thing that happened during many seasons. Thank you to the coaches that coached and supported me through the years.

SEE ALSO: My Regrets From My Time As A College Softball Player

Along with the good coaches, are a few bad coaches. These are the coaches that focused on favorites instead of the good of the entire team. I had coaches that no matter how hard I worked, it would never be good enough for them. I had coaches that would take insults too far on the court and in the classroom.

I had coaches that killed my passion and love for the game of basketball.

When a passion dies, it is quite possibly the most heartbreaking thing ever. A desire you once had to play every second of the day is gone; it turns into dreading every practice and game. It turns into leaving every game with earphones in so other parents don't talk to you about it. It meant dreading school the next day due to everyone talking about the previous game. My passion was destroyed when a coach looked at me in the eyes and said, "You could go to any other school and start varsity, but you just can't play for me."

SEE ALSO: Should College Athletes Be Limited To One Sport?

Looking back now at the amount of tears shed after practices and games, I just want to say to this coach: Making me feel bad about myself doesn't make me want to play and work hard for you, whether in the classroom or on the court. Telling me that, "Hard work always pays off" and not keeping that word doesn't make me want to work hard either. I spent every minute of the day focusing on making sure you didn't see the pain that I felt, and all of my energy was put towards that fake smile when I said I was OK with how you treated me. There are not words for the feeling I got when parents of teammates asked why I didn't play more or why I got pulled after one mistake; I simply didn't have an answer. The way you made me feel about myself and my ability to play ball made me hate myself; not only did you make me doubt my ability to play, you turned my teammates against me to where they didn't trust my abilities. I would not wish the pain you caused me on my greatest enemy. I pray that one day, eventually, when all of your players quit coming back that you realize that it isn't all about winning records. It’s about the players. You can have winning records without a good coach if you have a good team, but you won’t have a team if you can't treat players with the respect they deserve.

SEE ALSO: To The Little Girl Picking Up A Basketball For The First Time


Cover Image Credit: Equality Charter School

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Till's Return: The Gorilla Is Back

Liverpool's Darren Till Is Ready To Take Out Everyone

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The #3 ranked fighter in the welterweight division former title challenger Darren Till has recently expressed that he is ready to get into the octagon multiple times this year as he aims to get that top spot in the division. He has said since UFC 228 with the bout between himself and the current UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley he has essentially reassessed the situation. He is ready to capitalize on the lessons he has learned while showing why he is still the biggest challenger in the 170-pound division.

He has called out all names but he has not hesitated to express his interest in getting that rematch with the champion "The Chosen One" Tyron Woodley because he knows and is confident he has the skill to defeat Tyron. The Gorilla is definitely ready to be the Main Event on the London card in March but there is no clear set opponent yet.

Rumors began to spread in the mix martial arts world that Darren Till would be facing Colby Covington but it was not set in stone. Darren would have much more to win if he took on Colby and dismantled him. He would resolidify himself as the #1 Title challenger as Colby would have a lot more to lose. Colby Covington does not seem to be on the best of terms with the UFC as is so it seems like this would be the most appropriate fight to make since Kamaru Usman vs Tyron Woodley was booked for UFC 235 for the belt.

Darren Till is absolutely ready to get back into action but many would like to see him step into the Middleweight division and show what he can do. He does not want any rest and wants to fight 3 times or more in 2019 as it looks to be a promising year. The Gorilla recently received a call out for the London card by #9 ranked welterweight Jorge Masvidal as they both share the same amount of interest in the past but the fight was never booked.

Another huge fight he has interest in is with the "Style Bender" from the middleweight division, top prospect Israel Adesanya which would be absolute madness and would be a huge sell for the business. But in the meantime, he does believe he will stay at welterweight even though the division is in a very weird place right now. He expressed his dislike for Colby but knows the game Colby Covington is trying to play. A fight between Darren Till and the (Former?) Interim Title holder Colby Covington would definitely put a clear understanding to who the next title challenger could be in the division for Tyron Woodley.

The 26-year-old has 17 wins and 1 loss with 1 draw in his mix martial arts career. The last time we saw the #3 ranked "Gorilla" Darren Till was when he took on Tyron Woodley who become the first person to finish and stop Darren giving him his first loss at UFC 228. It is very exciting to see Darren so hungry and eager to get back in the cage. Hopefully, it will be in the Main Event in London.

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