NFL's Top 8 Power Rankings
By Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez
With the NFL Playoffs coming up, it is safe to say that there are 8 teams that are the clear Super-Bowl contenders. This exercise consists on ranking the best 4 teams per conference based upon talent, record, coaching and circumstance. This exercise is based upon the record of the first 13 weeks, and I apologize if your team is not in this ranking or ranked lower than what you thought.
1- Baltimore Ravens (10 - 2). The Ravens are clearly, the NFL’s best team via a premier season by MVP Candidate Lamar Jackson; who has been given a scheme that helps his strengths as a player and building his confidence and leadership. Jackson is making comparisons to a prime Michael Vick and Randall Cunningham. Coach John Harbaugh has done an excellent job adjusting the team’s offense around Jackson providing him with a good running back, Mark Ingram, and an excellent offensive line. The Raven’s defense is a little bit inconsistent and will be the team’s X-factor for their championship run, but there is nothing to worry about with this team. Besides, the team has bitten very good teams, recently New England and San Fransisco. Shout out to Justin Tucker.
2- New Orleans Saints (10 - 2). The Saints were the first team in the league to clinch their division and playoff berth. When Drew Brees injured his thumb, everybody thought the Saints would fall apart; with backup Teddy Bridgewater the team had a record of 5-1 (including an impressive road victory against Seattle). The team’s defense is the best we have seen since the team won the Super Bowl in 2010, leaded by Cameron Jordan and Marshon Lattimore. Drew Brees is back and along MVP candidate receiver Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara; there is no reason why this team cannot be a serious candidate for the NFC.
3- New England Patriots (10 - 2). Many doubt whether the reigning champion is still excellent, or of it is benefiting from an easy schedule, specially after losing against Houston and Baltimore. For me, the Patriots are still a pristine team, ironically, led by an excellent defense with Stephon Gilmore. This team should not be taken lightly, and I would not be surprised if they make it out of the AFC and make it to the Super-Bowl once more amid an excellent defensive identity orchestrated by Bill Belichick.
4- Seattle Seahawks (10 - 2). The Seattle Seahawks are being led by the favorite MVP Candidate, Russel Wilson, which has made his case as the best quarterback in the league. Wilson has led the team in dramatic wins against San Fransisco and Minnesota. The Defense is very good, led by a poised Jadeveon Clowney. Along with DK Metcalf and Chris Carson, the offense is producing at a good level. This team is very good and should be interesting to see their playoff run, specially when the 4 teams of the NFC have equal cases to make it to the Super-Bowl.
5- San Fransisco 49ers (10 - 2). 49ers’ fans are indignant that they are a wild card team and the 6-6 cowboys are a fourth seed. And with good reason, the 49ers had just loosed amazing thrillers against the Ravens and Seahawks, in which both games were decided by one possession. The 49ers are as good as the other teams, led by the 2nd best defense in the league and a lethal
versatile offense. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan has done an excellent job making a culture of discipline in the new miner revival.
6- Green Bay Packers (9 - 3). The Packers are once again following the recipe of hero-ball by part of Aaron Rodgers. The team’s defense is good and has certainly make strides, but it is not as good as the team’s ahead of them in this ranking. Aaron Rodgers has had an excellent season along with revelation Running Back Aaron Jones (which played college for UTEP). This team is still very good and may be the dark horse contender for the NFC but will still give a fight against the rest of teams and may make the Super Bowl.
7- Houston Texans (8 - 4). The Houston Texans have come off from an impressive victory against the Patriots. They are led by an MVP candidate Deshaun Watson orchestrating the offense along DeAndre Hopkins. The defense suffered a blow after JJ Watts’ injury, but the discipline of this team is mighty. Bill O’Brien had done an excellent job of keeping discipline and order among the team. This team is really good, but we will see if they can beat the lights of more talented teams like the Patriots and Ravens in the AFC.
8- Kansas City Chiefs (8 - 4). The Chiefs started the season really strong, but after Patrick Mahomes’ injury and return, the team has not had the record they wanted. The offense is excellent, as always, led by Mahomes, receiver Tyrek Hill and Tight end Travis Kelce, but the defense is straight-up atrocious. They are top-10 in rushing and passing defense, the worst out of the 8 teams in this list. They can still compete for the AFC, but until that defense can become respectable, this team will not go very far.
This year’s playoffs are going to be worthy of the NFL’s 100th season. It will be interesting how the playoffs come around, building expectations for a postseason for the ages. And as they say, it is not about which team has the most talent, but who commits less mistakes. Expect over-time classics coming out from potential matches between these teams
Picture by Decals Extreme Online
UEFA announces changes to Women’s UEFA Champions League format.
Written by Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez
On December 4th, 2019 the UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) announced significant changes to the Women’s UEFA Champions League format. The adjustments come amid a recent increasing popularity from the league, criticism against the current format and a recent deal between VISA and UEFA that will make the financial corporation the main sponsor of the Women’s European soccer until 2025. The UEFA decided to make these changes in order to further motivate progress among Women’s European soccer. These changes will be introduced on the 2021/2022 tournament.
The adjustments are very considerable and affect aspects of the tournament across the board. According to Yahoo Sports!, “The competition will now feature a 16-team group stage as well as centralized marketing and TV coverage, producing a 20 per cent increase in the total number of matches played throughout the tournament. Additionally, the top-six ranked countries, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Spain and Sweden, will all get three qualifying spots rather than two while those ranked seven to 16 will each enter two. All other nations will enter their domestic champion. Currently, the tournament features a 32-team knockout tournament, with the round of 16 now being replaced by a group stage that will see four groups of four teams play each other home and away. The top two teams in each group will then progress to the quarter-final round. The group stage of the tournament will be preceded by two rounds, which will be split into a league path and champions path similar to the one featured in the men's tournament. The first round will be played as knockout mini-tournament with a semi-final, a third-place match and a final while the second round will be played as home-and-away ties.
Round one will be played in August, while the second stage will take place in August and September. The group stage, then, will be played from October to December with the knockout phase running March through May with the final being held one week prior to the men's Champions League finale. In addition, the tournament will be centrally marketed by UEFA, with the federation currently only responsible for marketing the final. In recent years, the home sides have been responsible for all other matches. With the new format, the media rights will be centralized from the group stage onwards, with UEFA in charge of producing each match for television or online streaming. Additionally, sponsorship rights will be partially centralized for UEFA women’s football partners, starting at the group stage” (YahooSports!).
Altogether, the changes seem to benefit the tournaments’ competitiveness and popularity among the public. Women soccer is peaking around the world, following an electrifying World Cup in Summer 2019. There are pristine players, particularly in Europe. Hopefully this can make the league escalate into a sphere in which the tournamnet can inspire more women to involve in soccer.
Image by UEFA.com
YahooSports! (2019, Dec 4). Yahoo. Retrieved 6 Dec, 2019, from YahooSports:
Tuesday November 26 9/JV/Varsity Chaparral HOME 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday December 3 9/JV/Varsity Silver HOME 4:00/5:30/7:00
Thurs-Sat December 5-7 Varsity Artesia Tourney Away TBA
Tuesday December 17 9/JV/Varsity Santa Teresa Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday December 20 9/JV/Varsity Cobre Away 3:00/4:30/6:00
Thurs-Sat Dec 26-28 Varsity Holiday Hoopla Away TBA
Tuesday January 7 9/JV/Varsity Silver Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday January 10 9/JV/Varsity Las Cruces Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday January 14 9/JV/Varsity Onate Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday January 17 9/JV/Varsity Gadsden Away 4:00/5:00/7:00
Tuesday January 21 9/JV/Varsity Centennial Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday January 24 9/JV/Varsity Mayfield Away 4:00/5:00/7:00
Tuesday January 28 9/JV/Varsity Alamogordo Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday February 4 9/JV/Varsity Las Cruces Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday February 7 9/JV/Varsity Onate Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday February 11 9/JV/Varsity Gadsden Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday February 14 9/JV/Varsity Centennial Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday February 18 9/JV/Varsity Mayfield Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday February 21 9/JV/Varsity Alamogordo Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Mon-Sat Feb 24-29 Varsity District Tournament
Fri-Sat March 6-7 Varsity 1st Round State
Tues-Sat March 10-14 Varsity State Tournament
Tuesday November 26 JV/Varsity Chaparral Away 5:30/7:00
Thurs-Sat December 5-7 Varsity Artesia Away TBA
Tuesday December 10 JV/Varsity Roswell Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Saturday December 14 JV/Varsity Valencia Home 12:00/1:30
Tuesday December 17 9/JV/Varsity Santa Teresa Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday December 20 JV/Varsity Cobre Home 3:00/4:30
Thurs-Sat Dec 26-28 Varsity Holiday Hoopla Away TBA
Saturday January 4 JV/Varsity Artesia Home 2:00/3:30
Tuesday January 7 9/JV/Varsity Silver Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday January 10 9/JV/Varsity Las Cruces Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday January 14 9/JV/Varsity Onate Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday January 17 9/JV/Varsity Gadsden Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday January 21 9/JV/Varsity Centennial Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday January 24 9/JV/Varsity Mayfield Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday January 28 9/JV/Varsity Alamogordo Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday February 4 9/JV/Varsity Las Cruces Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday February 7 9/JV/Varsity Onate Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday February 11 9/JV/Varsity Gadsden Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday February 14 9/JV/Varsity Centennial Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Tuesday February 18 9/JV/Varsity Mayfield Away 4:00/5:30/7:00
Friday February 21 9/JV/Varsity Alamogordo Home 4:00/5:30/7:00
Mon- Sat Feb 24-29 Varsity District Tourney
Fri-Sat March 6-7 Varsity 1ST Round State
Tue-Sat March 10-14 Varsity State Tournament
NBA expected to add new NBA Team in Mexico City on 2020
By Carlos Emilio Hultsch Martinez
On December 12th, after the NBA game between the Detroit Pistons and Dallas Mavericks in Mexico City, NBA commissioner Adam Silver announced that the NBA G League (NBA’s Second Division Professional League), will be adding a new NBA team in Mexico City. Surprisingly, this will be not a new franchise, instead, Mexico City’s professional basketball team in the Professional Mexican League, known as Mexico City’s “Capitanes”, will become the NBA G League 29th team. This team will be the first team in the NBA outside of the United States and Canada, after the addition of the Toronto Raptors and Vancouver grizzlies (which relocated to Memphis). According to Sportswriter Michael Kaskey-Blomain from CBS Sports, Commissioner Adam Silver said that, “Bringing an NBA G League team to Mexico City is a historic milestone for the NBA which demonstrates our commitment to basketball fans in Mexico and across Latin America… as the first G League franchise based outside of the U.S. and Canada, we look forward to welcoming Capitanes to the NBA family… “In terms of a franchise in Mexico City, it's something that we're going to look at," Silver said back in early 2017. "This is a competitive market, well over 20 million people... Clearly coming to Mexico City just because of the huge population here in Mexico but in essence as a gateway to the rest of Latin America could potentially be very important to the league" (Kaskey-Blomain, 2019). In fact, the NBA games played in Mexico City made good revenue for the league and can untap the potential of a new market, as the NBA struggles with ratings at home. Regardless, Basketball interest in Latin America is bigger than ever, specially after an outstanding participation in the 2019 FIBA World Cup; were Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Dominican Republic and Argentina made it to the second round and Argentina was the tournament’s runner-up. With more interest in the NBA
and a need for more market, this is an excellent idea and a precedent of the NBA’s global expansion.
“Capitanes” will start playing in the NBA G League in the 2020-2021 campaign for an initial 5-year span, after this period, the league will consider if promoting the team into the NBA based upon revenue and team success. The team will also host the G League assigned players from the Denver Nuggets and Portland Trail Blazers, the two remaining NBA teams without an NBA G League affiliate.
Image by Futbol Total
Kaskey-Blomain, M. (2019, Dec 12). CBS Sports. Retrieved Dec 18, 2019, from CBS Sports.com: