The Eight Most Exciting NFL Games of 2016

The Eight Most Exciting NFL Games of 2016

A preseason checklist of must watch football.
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We all love football because of the big moments. At some point for all of us, one game pulled each of us in and touched a certain part of us that unlocked an obsession. Those games are why we watch sports, why we sift through months of offseason nonsense, and why we give away a part of our self to some team. Last year, there was the thriller between the Packers and the Cardinals in the Divisional Round. A year earlier, we had one of the greatest Super Bowls ever. With that said, here are eight games that already have the look of instant classics.

Week 1: Patriots at Cardinals

If the Patriots fans were looking to get an easy ride through Tom Brady’s suspension, this may be the furthest thing from it. If last year is any indication, playing in Arizona may be the hardest game in football. This will give us a first look at whether Jimmy Garoppolo is a viable franchise option for life after Brady. We’ll also get to see if the Cardinals can live up to last years squad.

Week 7: Patriots at Steelers

Three games back from suspension, Tom Brady will face one of his biggest tests of the season. This is a matchup of what looks like the two preseason AFC favorites. Big Ben and Brady lead what could be the two best offenses in the NFL. Even without Martavis Bryant, the Steelers have the best triplets in the last five years. The Patriots have quietly added second tier talent like Chris Long and Martavis Bryant to a team that sprinted off to a 10-0 start before the injury bug bit in November.

Week 8: Cardinals at Panthers

Before Tyrann Mathieu suffered a season ending ACL tear and Carson Palmer broke his finger against the Eagles, the Cardinals were the most complete team in the league. That memory has been fogged up partially due to their disappointing playoff loss against Carolina. Carolina, meanwhile, was robbed of a potentially all-time season after narrowly missing a perfect season and ending up a Von Miller strip sack away from the Lombardi Trophy. We get the two best teams in the NFC from a year ago matched up with something to prove.

Week 9: Colts at Packers

The Packers offense could set records in 2016. Aaron Rodgers has been the best player in football for five years on end, but after producing one of the best months a quarterback has ever played the wheels fell off and led to a disappointing season. Getting Jordy Nelson, Eddie Lacy, and Jared Cook should help. As good as Rodgers is, Luck might be even better when he is playing at his best. If both offenses live up to the billing, this should be a showcase in the art of quarterbacking.

Week 10: Seahawks at Patriots

Two years ago, we were treated to one of the best Super Bowls ever between these two. In this matchup, we get to see the new and the old dynasties of the NFL. The Patriots won three Super Bowls in four years and then struggled to make it back for a decade before finally getting back against these Seahawks. Even though they took a step back last year, the Seahawks could be the next dynasty of the NFL if they can put things together in the next couple of years.

Week 13: Texans at Packers

The appeal of this matchup is simple: the best offensive player of the generation against the best defensive player of the generation. Watt has won three Defensive Player of the Year Awards in four years. Rodgers is the most statistically efficient quarterback ever. The two weak units on each side, the Packers defense and the Texans offense, should be improved over a year ago. If the Texans can live up to the hype, be prepared for a showdown.

Week 14: Ravens at Patriots

Even if the two are mismatched on paper, the Ravens and Patriots always find a way to produce a thriller. The rivalry has made some of the best playoff games in the past five years, including the 2013 AFC Championship and the 2015 Divisional Round. Stakes should be high. If the season unfolds anything like we expect it to, the Patriots should be fighting for a playoff bye while the Ravens will likely be fighting for a spot in the tournament.

Week 16: Broncos at Chiefs

The Broncos may have lost more than any Super Bowl team in recent memory. Both of their top two quarterbacks are gone, as well as many of the pieces to their historic defense. With all that they’ve lost, expect a tight race for the division title between them, the Chiefs, and the Raiders. This game could decide that race. Kansas City boasts a defense that looks just as good as Denver's entering the season with playmakers at every level. If he can return healthy, Justin Houston rivals Von Miller as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. While the Packers and Colts may be a showcase of great offense, this should be a battle of outstanding defensive play.

Cover Image Credit: Charolotte Observer

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10 Reasons Your Big Sister Is The Best Person In Your Life

"There is no better friend than a sister, and there is no better sister than you."
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As much as I hate to admit it, my big sister might be sort-of, slightly, cooler than I am.

Sometimes. She's the one I call when I can't call mom and the only one in the family who can properly handle my attitude. Big sisters are the people you'd choose if they weren't already family, and here's why.

1. She is your first and truest friend.

Big sisters are (literally) there from day one. They see every dirty diaper, every bad haircut, and every melodramatic breakup. They deal with every bad day and drama queen attitude and still love you in the most unconditional way.

2. Her closet is your closet.

For some reason, her clothes always look better on you. Funny how that works, huh? With a big sister comes a big closet, and who doesn't love having a double wardrobe? I'd also like to take this opportunity to apologize for the clothes I will never give back (but I'm not really that sorry).

3. She knows what it's like to deal with your parents.

Anything you could possibly be going through, they went through it first. It's kind of like having an instruction manual or a key to the future. Either way, it's always nice to have someone who will always understand the struggle.

4. There are no boundaries.

Wanna dance around in your underwear all day? Cool. Life talks while she's on the toilet? Also cool. There's no awkward moments or changing in the bathroom with the door locked. There's just the kind of freedom that only comes with siblings.

5. Thanks to her, you know about all of the cool movies/music/fashion trends from years back.

Thanks to my sister, I have every Too $hort and Ludacris song you could ever think of downloaded on my phone. I've seen every cheesy '90s movie, and when a fad from 10 years ago comes back in, I already have the hookup.

6. She tells you like it is.

We all have those friends who tend to sugarcoat everything. Yeah, sisters don't do that. She's the first person to tell me when I'm making a terrible decision and that I really shouldn't triple text that boy again. She keeps it real with me and deals with my attitude, and that's why she's the best.

7. Her home is always open.

Sometimes you just need to get away from life and binge watch Netflix, and sometimes you need all of that plus your sister. She always has her door open when you're two seconds away from losing your mind, and she also has good takeout and a dog.

8. She knows what you're capable of.

My sister knows exactly who I am and what I can do. She knows when I'm not doing my best, and when I need to be set straight. She's always there to remind me who I am and what I'm capable of accomplishing. She's always been my biggest fan.

9. She's a lot cheaper than therapy.

For some reason, my sister always knows just what to say. Even if I don't see it at the time, she's usually right (don't tell her I said that). Big sisters are like wizards, somehow they always magically make you feel like life's gonna turn out alright in the end. If she wasn't already awesome at everything else, I'd suggest she be a therapist.

10. She will always be your go-to gal.

No matter the situation, she will always be by your side. There is nothing you could say or do to make a big sister leave, and that's why they're the best. Whether it's a speeding ticket, a mean girl or you just need to laugh, big sisters are always going to be there to lift your spirits and set you straight.

I couldn't make it without ya sis, I'm sorry for ratting you out on Thanksgiving that one time, and for running away at the zoo. Thanks for taking me to see Aaron Carter even though he's way too old to still be singing "I want Candy," and thank you always for being the best role model, sister and friend I could ask for.

Cover Image Credit: teaser-trailer.com

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Andy Ruiz Jr. May Not Look Like The Typical Boxer, But It Doesn't Make His Victory Any Less Deserved

Andy Ruiz Jr. just proved that dreams can come true.

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On June 1, boxing fans witnessed something special as Andy 'Destroyer' Ruiz Jr. defeated Anthony Joshua via TKO after going seven rounds in the ring at Madison Square Garden in New York City to become the first ever Mexican-American heavyweight champion of the world. Ruiz Jr. (33-1) was a heavy underdog (+1100) heading into the match-up with Joshua (22-1) but ultimately flipped the script to hand the British fighter his first professional loss ever. Surely the fight will go down as one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Some members of the media and fans have been quick to label the fight as a 'fluke' and 'rigged' which in the end is no surprise to me. That always happens in the sports world. Many did not believe we would get this result yet failed to remember the one rule of sports -- expect the unexpected. Over the past week, I've been coming to the defense of Ruiz Jr. in the wake of others choosing to call him a joke.

I was shocked and surprised to hear two of my favorite sports analysts, Stephen A. Smith and Shannon Sharpe, make fun of Ruiz Jr. and frame him as just a guy that looked like 'Butterbean.' When I viewed their tweets on social media it honestly made me upset. Sure, Ruiz Jr. may not have fit the mold of what a professional boxer should look like, but they simply should not have just judged a book by its cover.

Personally, I thought it was disrespectful for Smith and Sharpe to throw shade at Ruiz Jr. in the way they did. I felt like they should have done a better job of acknowledging the winner considering the result of the match. Yet choosing to bash someone because of their physical composition appeared like a low blow. The very foundation of sports allows people of all shapes, sizes, genders, races, and backgrounds to compete -- that's why most people follow them in the first place.

Smith was open behind his reasoning for his tweets in which I'd like to shed some light on. Smith was upset about how boxing time after time contains elements of corruption with fans having to wait years until promoters schedule big fights. He along with other followers of the sport were looking forward to the highly anticipated yet potential future match-up between Joshua and fellow heavyweight Deontay Wilder. Smith believes that by Ruiz Jr. beating Joshua it essentially diminished the chances of that fight ever happening with the same amount of buildup, but that still doesn't provide any excuse for mocking the new heavyweight champ.

Ruiz Jr. was there for a reason and ultimately seized the opportunity that was right in front of him -- that's not his fault for getting the job done. Just because someone doesn't look like the part doesn't mean they don't possess the same qualities and characteristics as their counterparts. The following pair of videos display the amount of talent Ruiz Jr. does have in the ring. Even fellow boxer Canelo Alvarez and former UFC lightweight/featherweight champion Conor McGregor acknowledge that and have come out to say something on their behalf.

Unfortunately, I don't expect much to change because most will stand their ground and continue to behave the same way. All I'm saying is I did not enjoy some of the top figures within sports media stereotyping Ruiz Jr. based on his looks. I would think that we would be better than that and recognize that anyone can accomplish something great in this world. It all just starts with a simple dream.

I understand and respect other people's takes on this subject, maybe I'm looking into things deeper than what they are, but it struck a chord with me and I felt the need to say something about it.

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