Nick is an NFL featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He's a native New Yorker and graduated from Fordham University where he was an award-winning broadcaster for WFUV, 90.7 FM. Nick started working at SiriusXM NFL Radio in September, 2005, and served as an executive producer for the channel until March, 2013. From there, he started as an executive producer on Mad Dog Sports Radio, SiriusXM's all-sports channel. Nick has developed relationships with every NFL team and has covered every major event in the sport, and is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He resides in Queens, New York, and loves nothing more than a cold beer.
You can follow Nick on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/TheKostos
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Hey Nick, I really enjoyed, your "The bettors Guide to Week 1". As a part time sports bettor, you have good insight into games. I didn't agree with you on everything but you made some good points. Didn't Brando Alisoglu have this piece the last few yrs?? Anyway, hope you keep doin it all thru the season.
In the article buying or selling the top 50 players as future HoF members, you said Brees had three 5,000 yard seasons. He's had 4, '08 and '11-'13. You got it right that nobody else has had more than one.
Nick, you misquoted John Steinbeck as Charles Dickens. You suck.
Carolina still has their #1 receiving option from last year: Olsen (not Smith) look at the stats
Jericho Cotchery > Brandon Lafail
Jason Avant > Domenik Hixon (who is always hurt)
Tiquan Underwood = Ted Ginn
It comes down to Kelvin Benjamin being able to match or exceed Smith's paltry 700 yards and 4 TDs. I could easily see Kelvin getting 5+ TDs. He's a red zone monster.
If Carolina has a passing attack better than 29th, then they have actually improved over last year (they went 12-4 last year). The run game will also be better with Jonathan Stewart coming back and improved run blocking (getting Silatolu back and drafting of Trai Turner). This means better play action passing game.
Did you do any research about the Panthers WRs? Like at all?
You wrote: "The Panthers receiving corps looks to be significantly worse"
You have no idea what you're talking about. The Panthers had the 29th ranked passing attack and went 12-4 and won the NFC South. You think it's worth bringing back the WRs in a 29th ranked passing attack.
Steve Smith is 35 and lost a step. He only had 700 yards and 4 TDs. Kelvin Benjamin has a very good chance of getting more than 4 TDs by being a 6'5/240 jump ball monster in the redzone.
Jericho Cotchery had 10 TDs last year. Much better catcher and route runner than Brandon Lafail.
Ted Ginn remains a one trick pony (speed) who can't catch consistently. Underwood only had 1 less TD and 100 less yards despite playing in 4 fewer games.
Finally, Jason Avant is perfect for Carolina's ball control offense. He was underutilized in Chip Kelly's offense because of his lack of speed. He has the lowest drop rate of any WR in the NFL. He is an upgrade over Hixon who only played in 2 games last year.
I have no issues with your anaysis save one: Denver will be playing against the NFCW this year, where the quality of the defenses will stifle Peyton. There is a decent chance that they will lose all 4 of those games. Should that happen, they will be lucky to win 10 games.
Nick, you mention in the article about expanded playoffs that Robert Quinn is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year. I guess I missed something, I thought that was Luke Kuechly. Also, if the Rams have the best D-Line in football, why did the Panthers record more sacks than any other team in the league, and have the 2nd ranked defense?
I am now just beginning to enjoy your columns, I do have a different perspective of the moves of the Carolina Panthers. I see the moves as being far more productive than most will realize until the season begins. Popular names & celebratory picks never win much in sports. It is the sum total of the work put in as ONE that will make the difference. You are spot on with the rest.