In this week’s Around the Dorm, the “Ref,” Josh Kestenbaum, asks our panel of experts three questions: What NFL team that missed the playoffs in 2014 has a shot to make it this year, can the Mets keep up the impressive play and should Edmonton take Connor McDavid or go a different route?
1. With the recent release of the NFL schedule, which non-playoff team do you think has the best chance of making the playoffs?
Michael: This schedule is like Christmas come early for the New York Giants. The Giants will be coming off a rough season last year, but with the return of Victor Cruz, year two of Odell Beckham and high draft picks, things are looking up. Looking at the schedule, they play the Redskins twice — already a plus — and two games against an Eagles team which lobotomized their roster this offseason. The bye week falls on Week 11, and the last few games are against teams which seem like easy pickings — Redskins, Jets, Vikings, and Eagles are all in there. Not to mention early in the season games against the Bills and Falcons. All in all, I think the Giants have a good shot to pick up wins both late and early in the season.
Kevin: Since this question mentions the schedule, I’ll go with the Atlanta Falcons since they have the easiest schedule in the league based on last year’s records. The NFC South is a terrible division that is truly up for grabs, so it’s reasonable to believe that the Falcons can take it. The Falcons didn’t make any big splashes this offseason, but they brought in Seattle defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to be their head coach. He brings in a defensive and winning mentality that this team needed. An offense led by Matt Ryan and Julio Jones should be able to score some points, as well. I expect them to add at least one solid pass rusher in a draft heavy with pass rushers and their defense to be much improved this season under Quinn.
George: There is no doubting His return. The Resurrection of the Holy Son of Football shall be upon us. And with him he brings his flock of angels known to us Earthly fellows as the Philadelphia Eagles. The man I speak of is, of course, Tim Tebow, whose incessant Hail Marys will grace the fields of heathen America, blessing all in their wake. Since His resurrection, the gates of paradise will be left wide open for his disciples. The Eagles clearly have a shot at making the playoffs this year.
George gets three points for reminding us of the Second Coming. Michael gets two points for pointing out the Giants’ receivers, and Kevin gets one point for picking the Falcons.
2. Do you think the Mets can maintain their early success, or will they fade away?
Michael: It’s hard to say, but I have to think this will fade away after awhile. People seem to forget baseball has a very long season, and it’s really hard to stay good for the entire duration. Now, I’m not saying I don’t think they have a chance. Players like Matt Harvey and Lucas Duda, among others, are playing great baseball and are showing improvements in strides over last year. All I’m saying is that 162 games is a lot, and the Mets have to show they aren’t just experiencing a flash in the pan.
Kevin: The I think the Mets can definitely keep this up. The NL East isn’t that strong of a division. The preseason overwhelming favorite, the Nationals, have been a huge disappointment thus far, and I don’t see the rest of the division being a major threat. The Mets are a young team that’s finally seeing their prospects of a few years ago reach the bigs. Most of their roster still haven’t hit their peak yet. They have great pitching led by Matt Harvey and a solid lineup. All in all, the Mets have been a great story so far, and I think they can definitely keep it up.
George: I think the Mets will continue their success this season, though it’ll be tough. Some fans may be quick to denounce their success so far, especially after they closed the Subway Series with a 6-4 loss and four errors — errors that likely gave Mets fans horrific flashbacks of last season and the season before that and the season before that. But just one game, and not even one series, cannot disprove a team’s success. The Mets still have the best record in the I think the Mets will continue their success this season, though it’ll be tough. Some fans may be quick to denounce their success so far, especially after they closed the Subway Series with a 6-4 loss and four errors — errors that likely gave Mets fans horrific flashbacks of last season and the season before that and the season before that. But just one game, and not even one series, cannnot disprove a team’s success. The Mets still have the best record in the Majors right now. They’ve still got Matt Harvey pitching for them. The Mets will not fade out. Majors right now. They’ve still got Matt Harvey pitching for them. The Mets will not fade out.
Kevin gets three points for pointing out the Mets’ prospects. Michael gets two points for reminding us of the season’s length, and George gets one point for reminiscing on the past.
3. Should the Edmonton Oilers take Connor McDavid with the No. 1 overall pick in the next NHL draft?
Michael: They should, and I feel so bad for him. The Oilers got the first pick again, and of course they will use it on the top prospect in an effort to fix a team that has been broken for nine seasons. The last time the team made the playoffs, they lost in the final against Carolina for the Stanley Cup, so of course they still have hopes. McDavid is coming off seasons with the Erie Otters in the Ontario Hockey League and international play with the Canadian Junior World Ice Hockey team, where his squad took home the gold. The kid scored 44 goals last season with the Otters and 76 assists, as well. Overall, the Oilers would be foolish to pass this kid up, but I have the feeling McDavid is secretly hoping something keeps him out of Edmonton.
Kevin: This is a no-brainer for Edmonton. With the hockey gods giving them their fourth, No. 1 overall pick in six years, the only option they should be considering is taking Connor McDavid. Wayne Gretzky said he’s the greatest prospect he’s seen in 30 years. The kid is a flat-out stud. He scored 120 points in 44 games this past season in the OHL, as well as helping lead the Canadian team to the World Junior title. The Oilers can deal with fixing their problems in goal and on the blue line through free agency and trades. They can’t afford to not take McDavid.
George: If they don’t, they’re fools. McDavid is one of the greatest prospects the NHL has seen, according to Wayne Gretzky. I’m pretty sure that’s like being knighted in the NHL. He’s also proven himself to be worthy of the NHL throughout his time playing for the OHL. Just this Sunday, the good Sir McDavid went up against the Greyhounds and pulled an amazing shorthand goal reminiscent of Forsberg’s shootouts. He pulled off the feint smoother and more fluidly than anyone in the NHL right now can do it. I think the Oilers should definitely go for McDavid if they get the chance to. It wouldn’t be the worst thing they could do.
Michael gets three points for hoping McDavid goes elsewhere. Kevin gets two points for looking at free agency, and George gets one point for overestimating the Oilers.
Michael wins Around the Dorm 7-6-4.