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Rookie role reversal

Week two is behind us, NFL fans, and what a strange week it was. It’s hard to say what the top story would be, so let’s go with Sunday night’s primetime showdown between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers. The Packers hung on in what was a seesaw battle for a while, powered by a powerful front push by their defensive line–and, of course, the arm of QB Aaron Rodgers. That man is a wizard. He spent the entire evening showcasing his athleticism, elusiveness, laser-accurate arm and thorough control of the offense. He and veteran wideout James Jones continued to show that they haven’t lost their old timing, and electric slot receiver Randall Cobb came back with a solid game. Running back Eddie Lacy left the game early with an ankle injury, which is of course cause for concern in Green Bay. But backup & onetime starter James Starks stepped up admirably, reminding folks of the dual threat he’s been for years.

Jonny Manziel had a very Jonny Manziel-like day.

In another primetime matchup that wasn’t nearly as hyped up, the New York Jets surprised the Indianapolis Colts with a dominant performance to go 2-0 on the season. Jets QB Ryan Fitzpatrick ran the offense crisply, and the Colts had no answer for wide receiver Eric Decker in the first half. The Jets’ defense gave quarterback Andrew Luck fits, and future Hall of Fame cornerback Darrelle Revis had himself a day with an interception and two fumble recoveries.

Meanwhile, the NFL’s two premier rookie quarterbacks experienced a bit of role reversal this week. Jameis Winston bounced back from a poor Week 1 performance, managing the Tampa Bay Buccanneers‘ pounding of the New Orleans Saints. He looked much more poised this week, as he threw one touchdown and ran for another. Meanwhile. the Tennessee Titans’ Marcus Mariota struggled for most of his game against the Cleveland Browns. He wound up with 257 passing yards, but was ineffective in the first half and threw two picks on the day. On the other side of the ball, Browns’ QB Jonny Manziel had a very Manziel-like day. He only threw for 172 yards, but he threw for two long, highlight-reel touchdowns to speed merchant Travis Benjamin. On one particularly crazy-looking play, Manziel scrambled around the backfield like a madman, rolling to his weak side about a mile behind the line of scrimmage and launching a cannon blast that Benjamin ran under for a score. It’s hard to say how sustainable his style of play is, but for now, the Browns are 1-1 and there’s buzz around Jonny Football once again.

For the Dallas Cowboys, it was good news/bad news in Philly. They pounded the Eagles, 20-10, but they lost many of their key players in the process. Quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fracture of the same collarbone he broke back in 2010, and has been placed on injured reserve. The Cowboys say it’s non-displaced and he might be back near the catch end of the season, but that’s quite a blow for a team that just lost Dez Bryant to a broken foot and also lost tight end Jason Witten to a laundry list of sprains and strains.

Last but not least, there was an exciting early-season AFC East showdown in Buffalo. The upstart Bills, led by rookie quarterback Tyrod Taylor and Rex Ryan‘s aggressive defense, challenged Tom Brady and the New England Patriots for early control of the division. Brady was stellar yet again,throwing for a whopping 466 yards and three touchdowns. Julian Edelman caught two more scores, Rob Gronkowski added another score along with his 113 receiving yards, and Danny Amendola made a fantastic highlight-reel catch. Taylor struggled early, but led a late-game comeback attempt that showed why he’s the subject of some buzz of his own. He finished with 242 yards, three touchdown passes and three interceptions, and he also ran for 43 yards and another score. He’s athletic and poised, and if he can cut down on the turnovers the Bills might really be on to something.

What do you think will be the big story in Week 3? Which of this year’s exciting crop of rookie QBs will have the biggest impact? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app to Play, Shout and Win!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

Football is coming!

It still feels like the dog days of summer, sports fans, but football season is already upon us! Quarterback controversies are brewing, roster spots are being fought for (literally in some places), and speculation about the 2015 NFL season has already begun.

Deflate & Brady’s fate are the leading story this offseason.

In the Philadelphia Eagles‘ training camp, they just can’t seem to shake controversy. More former players are questioning how coach Chip Kelly manages his personnel, and nobody has any idea how his mad-scientist college program will translate into the NFL. People are still calling the Eagles Oregon-lite, and with the NFC East in flux, the door is open for Chip’s Eagles to make a charge. The problem is the quarterback situation: The Eagles are discussing extending the contract of QB Sam Bradford, and it remains to be seen if he’s a bona-fide NFL signal caller. The other two QBs on the roster are Tim Tebow and the up & down Mark Sanchez. Another thing that might give Eagles fans pause: the past six running backs to carried the ball 390 times in a season failed to rush for 1000 yards the next year. Is DeMarco Murray due for a down year?

In Dallas, they’re scuffling among themselves on the field. This kind of thing happens from time to time, but here’s what’s different: ownership isn’t just tacitly endorsing it, they’re openly promoting it! Cowboys owner and mega-mogul Jerry Jones expressed pleasure at seeing wideout Dez Bryant mix it up with a teammate mid-play. Dez threw a pretty serious looking haymaker, but things never got too ugly. Trying to get out in front of the story (we guess?), the Cowboys posted the scuffle on their own official social media!

Elsewhere around the league, Cleveland Browns ownership says they ‘haven’t given up’ on QB Johnny Manziel despite the fact that he struggled early in camp and some observers thought he looked ill-prepared. For the Tennessee Titans, rookie QB Marcus Mariota reportedly looks ‘sharp’ so far. This seems in line with projections that he’s already ready for the pros.

Out west, the Seattle Seahawks dealt with their own personnel issues, as they haggled for a while with Super Bowl-winning QB Russell Wilson and safety Kam Chancellor continues to hold out.

And the biggest story of the offseason continues to be the Deflategate saga in New England. Quarterback Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension has been upheld–for now–and speculation abounds regarding balance of power, the appeal process, and what the Patriots will do if they lose their leader for a quarter of a season.

What do you think the biggest story of training camp is so far? Will Brady win his appeal, and if not, are the Patriots up a creek? Who will be this year’s biggest breakouts and busts? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter and tell us what you think. You can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

What a day on the sports calendar!

Sports fans all over the place are licking their chops for the sports schedule on tap for this Saturday. First, at noon Eastern Time, there’s round three of the 2015 NFL Draft. The big names are already off the board, with Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota going first and second as predicted. But the draft is an epic event, and there are still plenty of diamonds in the rough aspiring to be the next Tom Brady or Russell Wilson!

Next, at 12:30ET, there’s game two of the seemingly annual playoff rematch between the New York Rangers and Washington Capitals. Game one ended in heartbreaking fashion for the blueshirts, with the Caps’ Alexander Ovechkin feeding Joel Ward for a rare hockey buzzer-beater, 1.3 seconds before the game was set to go to overtime! The Rangers lost game one of the Stanley Cup Finals back in 1994, and this year they’re one of the best road teams in the NHL–so they’re not too worried. But they’ll have to bounce back into shape if they want to pull even with the Caps.
Continuing the sports barrage, at 1:35ET the Yankees and Red Sox take the field at Fenway Park to continue their age-old feud. Alex Rodriguez tied Willie Mays at 660 career dingers, with his first career pinch-hit home run on Friday night at Fenway, and he and the Bronx Bombers will look to stay hot.
Just as all that begins to dies down, later in the afternoon racing fans will get to check out the 141st annual Kentucky Derby at 6:24PM. The Derby is one of the few races that folks who aren’t usually keen on horse racing tune into. It’s a big all-day shindig, rife with sun, side bets and swill.
Think we’re done? Not so fast! At 8PM, sports fans are treated to one of the best phrases in all of sport: GAME SEVEN. The San Antonio Spurs and the Los Angeles Clippers will face off, wrapping up a series that’s been chock full of #FanCrazy excitement! Tim Duncan continues to play like an ageless wonder, as Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan try to usher in a changing of the guard in the NBA.
Last but not least: the big kahuna, widely called the Fight of the Century…Floyd Mayweather versus Manny Pacquiao! Money Mayweather will try to put a cherry on top of his legacy by staying undefeated against the Pac-Man, long considered one of the biggest threats to his unbeaten run. This one goes on the air at 9PM, but between the preamble and the undercard, you might wanna have some coffee and settle in on the couch.
What are your predictions for the big day? Which way will Game Seven bounce? Will the Rangers get back on track? Will Pac-Man stop the money man’s perfect run? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter, and you can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!
May the brackets always bust in your favor,
Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer
#GoFancheer

Has Chip Kelly gone bonkers?

First, the Eagles traded away their two biggest stars. Then they picked up seemingly anyone who ever had worn an Oregon Ducks jersey. Then they snagged Miles Austin, the high-upside wideout whose periodic disappearances have frustrated real-life fans and fantasy owners alike. And then…

They signed Tim Tebow. A month after signing Mark Sanchez.

Huh?

So has Chip Kelly gone crazy?

There are all kinds of theories as to why this signing happened. For one, the Eagles have struggled in short-yardage situations, despite their sometimes gaudy rushing numbers. There’s also the fact that for the most part, Tebow has a history of winning most of the places he’s suited up as a football player. Detractors point out Tebow’s slow release, trouble reading defenses, and awful history being part of the same depth chart as Sanchez, as evidence of the Eagles’ folly. Meanwhile, Eagles’ head of personnel Ed Marynowitz reports that Tebow has “improved,” as the debate about his signing rages on.

Chip Kelly is a guy who’s always done thing his own way as a coach. Do you think his mad scientist ways have gone too far this offseason, or do you think he’s crazy like a fox? Hit us up @Brackethead on Twitter, and you can also us #FanCrazy photos and make bold predictions on our Facebook wall. If you really want to show your stuff and win stuff while you support your team, head to www.gofancheer.com and download the app!

May the brackets always bust in your favor,

Brackethead & the folks at FanCheer

#GoFancheer

Who wins the Heisman?

Well, college football fans, we’re within 24 hours of knowing who wins this year’s Heisman Trophy. As the clock winds down, the discussions continue: who should win the award this year? Here’s what the folks at FanCheer think, listed in order of our selections.

Mariota seems like the Heisman favorite.

1. Marcus Mariota: QB, Oregon Ducks

Mariota is the front man for the second-ranked Ducks, winners of the Pac 12 and one of the four participants in the inaugural playoff. The 6’4”, 219lb junior is widely considered to be NFL-ready, and he led the third highest scoring offense in the nation. In 2014, Mariota put up this ridiculous stat line: 38 passing touchdowns and 14 rushing touchdowns, with only 2 interceptions and a 68.3 percent completion rate. He should be the frontrunner. 

2. Melvin Gordon: RB, Wisconsin Badgers

Gordon is the guy who broke LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-game rushing record this season, with a staggering 408 yards in just over three quarters against Nebraska (of course, his record only lasted a week, but we digress). He’s an electric gear-changer, but not too slight of build at 6;1” 207lbs. Gordon ran for 2,336 yards in 2014, with 26 rushing scores and an average of 7.6 yards per carry. His longest run was 88 yards. He didn’t catch a ton of passes, with only 17 receptions for 151 yards and 3 touchdowns, but he was clearly the Badgers’ engine on offense and a frequent source of highlights. 

3. Amari Cooper: WR, Alabama Crimson Tide

Cooper is an explosive downfield threat for the Tide, who set the SEC record for receptions in a season with 115. He totaled 1,656 receiving yards and 14 receiving touchdowns, and his longest catch of the year went for 80 yards. At 6’1”, 210, he’s a dynamic game-changer. He’s also the surprise winner of a Sports Illustrate poll in which 6,000 people entered their own Heisman choices…still, we don’t think it’ll go that way in the official vote.
When it’s all said and done, we think Mariota’s the clear choice, though all three are great candidates. Got your own breakdowns to share? Tweet us @BracketHead using the hashtag #FanCrazy and sound off with your predictions. You can also send us fan photos, make bold predictions, and post photos to our Facebook wall. And don’t forget to check in and follow us for a chance to win fun prizes!
May the brackets bust in your favor,

The folks at FanCheer

#GoFanCheer