A team in Rutherford County has upset a No.1 football seed before, but now we actually get a No.1 seeded team in the playoffs. Thomas Jefferson will be the No.1 in the 1A West as the football playoffs are here. However, the Gryphons get a first-round bye and host the winner of North Duplin-Bishop McGuniness on 11-23-18.
East Rutherford (9-2) will be at home this Friday (11-16-18) as the No. 7 seed and face No. 10 seed in the 2A West, Maiden (8-3).
Maiden does have some speed with Caleb McDaniel and Dylan Abernathy. The Blue Devils like to dink-and-dunk passes around. McDaniel also likes to roll out of the pocket to sell the run, when sometimes they are actually going down field. Definitely a read-option type team. Montrell Stinson is also a big weapon for Maiden. Bain Sipe is the actual quarterback, but they will use McDaniel at times in the wildcat.
The reality is that Maiden hasn't played Shelby or South Point. East knows what a solid team is and Maiden had seen a lackluster schedule and so has East at times. Maiden's defense hasn't been bad all year, but the Cavalier offense should be good enough to match up with the Blue Devils.
Pick: East Rutherford 42-21
Joey Logano, Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. are the final four in "The Chase."
Joey Logano- Not bad on 1.5-mile tracks, but not as good as the other three competitors. Has finished no better than fourth at Homestead.
Kevin Harvick- Has finished no worse than fourth at Homestead in the last four years and has eight wins this season.
Kyle Busch- Nearly won last year and has won eight times this season. Has average finish of third in the last three Homestead races. He only had three top ten's in the other ten races there.
Martin Truex Jr.- Has four wins this season, completed 99 percent of the laps he has competed in at Homestead. He is the defending winner of this race. If this is a "win one for the gipper" scenario, Truex is piloting the ship. Considering Barney Visser is closing down Truex's race team as the defending Cup champ after this Sunday, one has to think Truex is in as good of a position as anybody.
Ever since that penalty the other week by winning at Texas with supposedly an illegal spoiler, which put him in dire straights coming into Phoenix, I have a feeling that Kevin Harvick is going to win this whole thing Sunday. Harvick and Crew Chief Rodney Childers will be in "something to prove mode." Normally they are clutch when it comes to that. I think Truex and Kyle Busch are good enough to do so as well. It should be an incredible three-way battle. All three of them have come through at Homestead before, have won a title and picked up 20 victories combined this season.
As of now, it looks like there are five elite teams this season in the NFL. If none of these five don't win the Super Bowl, I would be surprised at this point. Those five in random order are the Patriots, Saints, Rams, Steelers and Chiefs. The second tier includes, the Chargers, Titans, Texans, Panthers, Bears, Packers and Vikings.
The stock is trending up in Houston and Nashville, but New Orleans is the team to beat right now.