With the Georgia High School football season done, I’m a bit lost without a weekly blog about football so I am going to try with a new weekly blog about the world of American football from the National Football League (NFL), Arena Football League (AFL), semi-pro football and American football news around the world. This format could change but let’s get started with the inaugural edition of Football Friday.
National Football League (NFL) – It’s the final week of the regular season. Most playoff spots have been filled except for the last two in each conference. It’s easy right? All the Atlanta Falcons and Tennessee Titans have to do this week is win and their in. Not so fast my friends. The Falcons play Carolina who would like nothing better than to send the Falcons home. Honestly, I have cooled off on the Falcons since the Super Bowl so I don’t have much faith in them doing anything with the final playoff berth but I don’t want to see Seattle get it either. I’m going to say that the Falcons lose to Carolina and still get in. The Tennessee Titans have stunk the last few weeks and now they limp into the final regular season game against the Jacksonville Jaguars to play a team they beat soundly earlier. I really don’t think Tennessee is good enough to be in the playoffs. I think they will complete their late season spiral and Buffalo will get in. Will the Cleveland Browns win their first game and avoid going 0-16? No. Even with several Steeler stars resting, the Browns won’t win against the subs.
College Football Playoffs – The college football bowl season will have a full slate of games this weekend. Of course, the biggest games will be the semifinal games in the Rose Bowl where Georgia will play Oklahoma. The Sugar Bowl will be the semifinal game for Alabama and Clemson. Both games should be pretty close. Georgia is the newcomer to the big stage but the Bulldogs have responded in big games even with their freshman Quarterback Jake Fromm. Oklahoma counters with Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. Heisman Trophy winning quarterbacks don’t normally play well in the big game. I’m looking for Georgia to pull out a close win. Alabama is seeking revenge for last years loss to Clemson in the National Championship game. Nick Sabban usually gets it done so I am expecting Alabama to take down Clemson to set up an all-SEC final.
Arena Football League (AFL) – Yes, they are still alive and planning to play in 2018 in spite of losing the Tampa Bay Storm. Honestly, when we lived in Tampa for two years I didn’t hear much about the Storm so maybe this isn’t such a shock. Tampa Bay issued a statement that they would sit out the 2018 season which could mean they might join another league but, honestly, the state of arena/indoor football is very weak. There is no stability in any league at the moment. With the departure of the Storm, the AFL is down to four teams with Baltimore, Washington, Philadelphia and Albany.
Israel Football League (IFL) – The Jerusalem Lions (4-0) are the only undefeated team in the league. In their last game, the Lions handed the Judean Rebels (3-1) their first loss of the season 44-32 in the Chanukah Bowl. The Chanukah Bowl is the IFL’s annual rivalry football.
National Arena League (NAL) – The Maine Mammoths will be a new expansion team playing in Portland, Maine in the 2018 season. The Mammoths will join Columbus (GA), Jacksonville (FL), Lehigh Valley (PA), Worcester (MA) and Greensboro (NC) in the league which begins play in April.
Semi Pro Football – Here is the final Top Ten poll of the Semi Pro Rankings for 2017 (from National Football Events):
- Taunton (MA) Gladiators
- Albany (NY) Metro Mallers
- Oklahoma Thunder
- Middle Tennessee Bulldogs
- Inglewood (CA) Blackhawks
- Detroit (MI) Ravens
- Long Island (NY) Panthers
- Chi City (IL) Ducks
- Virginia Crusaders
- Columbus (OH) Fire