From the drawers of the Top Secret Fyles:
It’s time to grab the mailbag and emails and answer intriguing questions.
Question: Now that the 2022 NFL season has officially ended, who do you consider the league’s top 10 quarterbacks at this moment, not counting free agency and the April draft?
Answer: An interesting question for sure. I will take an early stab on this. I think we are all in agreement for No. 1 and that’s the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, the only player in history to win multiple regular-season and Super Bowl MVP awards during his first five seasons as a starter. I like Joe Burrow at No. 2, Trevor Lawrence at No. 3, Josh Allen at No. 4 and Jalen Hurts at No. 5. My bottom five to complete the Top 10 includes Justin Herbert at No. 6, Matthew Stafford seventh, Aaron Rodgers eighth, Lamar Jackson ninth and Jared Goff 10th. Of course, this list most probably will be different when Labor Day rolls around.
Q: I like college men’s hockey and it’s fortunate that we have two NCAA Division I programs within about a dozen miles of each other with Canton and Potsdam. What’s going to happen in the upcoming ECAC playoffs?
A: Usually one of the top four seeds wins the league crown and earns an automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. Top-seed Quinnipiac looks strong again. Can St. Lawrence, which won ECACs but in a league-shortened COVID season a few years ago, make some noise with one of the league’s most experienced goalies in Emil Zetterquist? If he gets hot in the postseason, he could carry the Saints to the title game in Lake Placid. Clarkson (14-14-4 overall), meanwhile, has been up-and-down all season.
Q: With all the crazy trades in the NBA over the past couple of weeks, how do you break down the contenders?
A: I think you have to consider four teams as favorites for the title — Bucks, Celtics, Warriors (they’ll get their act straightened out before the playoffs) and Suns (Kevin Durant will provide a boost). After that, you can look at five teams below at the next level — including the Clippers, 76ers, Cavaliers, Grizzlies and Nuggets. Surely, there will be playoff matchups at some point involving the aforementioned nine teams and that should make great drama in May and June.
Q: My heart bleeds with the Red Sox and is the season going to be that bad in 2023?
A: Well, Boston was a last-place team in the AL East in 2022, some five games behind the fourth-place Orioles. The outlook doesn’t look favorable as opponents will probably pitch around best hitter Rafael Devers. Losing shortstop Xander Bogaerts via free agency hurts. The overall roster features too many older and some brittle players who have seen much better days. Younger players like Bobby Dalbec and Jarren Duran lack consistency.
Times sports copy editor Richard Fyle can be reached at email@example.com
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