Indian American. Sports Junkie. Marketing Dude. Freelance Writer. Aspiring Life Hacker. Enthusiastic Gourmand. Husband. Canine Parent. www.hailtothedistrict.com
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Laptop, Notepad & Pen, and Coffee — My “Bear Necessities.”

The ongoing anthology of (almost) all of Rajan’s published content on sports, food, health & fitness, pop culture, and more.

Sports Columns

NFL Columns

Nick Sirianni To The Philadelphia Eagles: A Surprising Yet Sound Hire (2021)
Will The Saints Go Marching Right Through The NFC Playoffs? (2021)
The Buffalo Bills Are the Best Team in the 2021 AFC Playoffs (2021)
Will The New York Jets (Finally) Rebuild Things The Right Way? (2021)
Subtraction By Addition: What Caused The Statistical Dip(s) From Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (2020)
Matt Nagy Sits on the Hottest of Hot Seats (2020)
Can Damien Harris Jumpstart A Stalled New England Patriots’ Offense? (2020)
The Detroit Lions Have a (Rapidly) Rising Star in D’Andre Swift (2020)
Davante Adams Is the Best Wide Receiver in the NFL (2020)
Chris Ballard’s Blueprint for an Elite Defense in Indianapolis (2020)
The Pittsburgh Steelers Are The AFC’s #1 Contender (2020)
Missing Purple People-Eating Persons Report (2020)
Whose Decision Was It To Make Tua Tagovailoa The Starting Quarterback In Miami? (2020)
The NFL’s Newest “Superfreak” Wide Receiver Is DK Metcalf (2020)
Myles Garrett Is Officially Unstoppable (2020)
Sean McVay’s Heat Check (2020)
5 Random Takeaways From Week 1 Of The 2020 NFL Season (2020)
Extreme Makeover: The Miami Dolphins Edition (2020)
The Jacksonville Jaguars Are a Case Study in Self-Destruction (2020)
The Fully Rebooted Cincinnati Bengals (2020)
Ranking The 32 Starting Quarterbacks Entering The 2020 NFL Season, Part 3 (2020)
Ranking The 32 Starting Quarterbacks Entering The 2020 NFL Season, Part 2 (2020)
Ranking The 32 Starting Quarterbacks Entering The 2020 NFL Season, Part 1 (2020)
Dan Quinn’s Best (But Last) Remaining Chance In Atlanta (2020)
The Tennessee Titans’ “Coordinator By Committee” Approach To Defense (2020)
The Philadelphia Eagles And Their Head-Scratching 2020 NFL Draft (2020)
A Quick & Simple 2nd Round Mock NFL Draft (2020)
My Final NFL Mock Draft Of 2020 (2020)
Get To Know The Top 50 Players In The 2020 NFL Draft (2020)
How David Tepper Is Running The Carolina Panthers’ Football Hedge Fund (2020)
Bill O’Brien Is Officially Houston’s Biggest Sports Villain (2020)
2020 Mock NFL Draft 2.0 — The “Fake News” Edition (2020)
The 12 Worst Head Coaches In NFL History (2020)
Let The Tua Tagovailoa Sweepstakes Begin (Again) (2020)
2020 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 — The “Laughably Pointless” Edition (2020)
Super Bowl LIV: Not Knowing Who’s “Supposed” To Win (2020)
NFL Conference Championship Weekend Preview & Picks (2020)
NFL Wild Card Weekend 2020 Preview (2020)
Adam Gase Is The Disaster That Keeps On Disastering (2019)
How DeVante Parker (Finally) Got His Groove Back (2019)
The Baltimore Ravens Are The AFC’s #1 Contender (2019)
Dalvin Cook: The NFL’s Most Underdiscussed Superstar (2019)
Predicting The NFC Playoff Teams At The Midseason Point (2019)
The Buffalo Bills Are (Finally) Worth Your Attention Again (2019)
Reviewing The First Few Chapters Of The Book of Kyler Murray (2019)
Mississippi Mustache: The Legend of Gardner Minshew II (2019)
The Easiest Upset Pick For Week 2 Of The NFL Season (2019)
The Philadelphia Eagles Are The NFC’S Best Team In 2019 (2019)
2019–2020 NFL Season Predictions, Picks, And Ponderings (2019)
Can the Cleveland Browns handle the offseason crown? (2019)
Can the Matt Lafleur & Aaron Rodgers relationship actually work? (2019)
Finally Mike Maccagnan Can Stop Fooling Us All (2019)
Final Wrap-Up After The 2019 NFL Draft (2019)
15 Instant Reactions To Day 1 Of The 2019 NFL Draft (2019)
Get To Know The Top 100 Players In The 2019 NFL Draft (2019)
2019 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 — The Final Projections (2019)
2019 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (2019)
Is Kyler Murray Really Worth The #1 Pick In The 2019 NFL Draft? (2019)
Ranking The Top NFL Draft Quarterback Prospects Of The Last Decade (2019)
2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 — The ‘Absurdly Early’ Edition (2019)
Super Bowl LIII Preview: Everyone (Still) Hates The New England Patriots (2019)
Intriguing Quarterback Duels In The Divisional Playoff Round (2019)
Everything you Need to Know for a Potential Wacky Wildcard Weekend (2019)
Five Week 17 Games with Playoff Implications (2018)
NFL Picks of Teams Jockeying for Playoff Positioning in Week 16 (2018)
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Playoff Football (2018)
Five of our Favorite NFL Games in Week 14 (2018)
The Sad Swansong Of Rob Gronkowski (2018)
Week 13 Marquee Matchups (2018)
Ranking 4 Potential NFL Head Coaching Job Openings (2018)
The Jacksonville Jaguars Have Gone From Championship Cusp To Organizational Collapse (2018)
Monday Night Football Has A Major Problem (2018)
Le’Veon Bell Went All-In, And Lost (2018)
The New England Patriots Are Still Good, But Not As Good As We Think (2018)
The 2019 NFL Draft Is More Loaded At Defensive Line Than You Think (2018)
Everybody Owes Steve Sarkisian an Apology (2018)
Everyone Needs To Stop Overlooking The Los Angeles Chargers (2018)
The Philadelphia Eagles Remain The NFC’s Darkhorse Contender (2018)
If The 2018 NFL Mid-Season Awards Were Will Ferrell Movie Quotes (2018)
Is a Los Angeles Rams vs. Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl Inevitable? (2018)
DeAndre Hopkins Is Officially The Best Wide Receiver Alive (2018)
When The Rebuild Goes Wrong (2018)
The Next Chapter In The Book Of Brock (2018)
The New NFL Quarterbacks On The Block (2018)
The Philadelphia Eagles: In The Midst Of A Raging Super Bowl Hangover (2018)
2018 Week 6 Top NFL Picks (2018)
The 2018 Minnesota Vikings: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Backward (2018)
NFL Week 5 Picks (2018)
The Miami Dolphins Are Better Than You Think (2018)
Week 4 NFL Picks (2018)
Todd Monken, Head Swashbuckler (2018)
The Baker Mayfield Era Begins With A “W.” (2018)
Patrick Mahomes Is Off To A Monstrous Start In 2018 (2018)
Three Things We Learned In Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Season (2018)
NFL Week 2 Marquee Matchups (2018)
The Dallas Cowboys: All Hat, No Cattle (2018)
The Early Headliners For The 2019 NFL Draft (2018)
A (small) Step Back For Jacksonville’s Defense? (2018)
Myles Garrett Is Ready To Wreck The NFL (2018)
Favorites for the 2018–2019 NFL’s Offensive Rookie of the Year (2018)
The Baltimore Ravens’ 2018 “Identity Check” (2018)
Patrick Mahomes II: Small Town Hero To Big City Franchise Cornerstone (2018)
Final 2018 NFL Mock Draft and Top 175 Big Board (2018)
Saquon Barkley: The Ultimate Scouting Report (2018)
Everything You Need To Know About Minkah Fitzpatrick (2018)
2018 NFL Mock Draft, version 3.0: The Latest NFL Draft Rumors (2018)
The Winners & Losers Of NFL Free Agency 2018 (2018)
The New York Giants’ 2018 NFL Draft Dilemma (2018)
2018 NFL Mock Draft, version 2.0: 7 Mock Draft Day Trades (2018)
2018 NFL Draft Big Board, version 1.0: The Top 75 Players (2018)
2018 NFL Mock Draft ,version 1.0 — The “Football Withdrawal” Edition (2018)
Super Bowl LII Preview: Nobody Wins (2018)
So What’s Next For Nick Foles? (2018)
The AFC Championship Party Crashers (2018)
Did Detroit Hire “The Next Bill Belichick?” (2018)
Which Two Teams Will Play In Super Bowl LII? (2018)
Could Jon Gruden Be “Coming Home” To Cleveland? (2017)
Life After Carson Wentz (2017)
The NFC’s Birds Of Prey (2017)
Ranking all 32 Quarterbacks Of The 2017 NFL Season (2017)
For The Carolina Panthers, Winning Ugly Is Still Winning (2017)
Nobody Is Talking About The Tennessee Titans (2017)
Have the Kansas City Chiefs Regressed Back To The Mean? (2017)
The Rotten Apples Of New York
(2017)
Is Russell Wilson The Best QB In The NFL Today? (2017)
Who Said Anything About Tanking? (2017)
Cleveland’s Ghosts Of Draftmas Past (2017)
Passing The Quarter Pole Of the 2017 NFL Season (2017)
The Best Running Backs In The NFL’s Modern Era (2017)
Week 2 Of The 2017 NFL Season: We Don’t Know What We Don’t Know (2017)
The Rookie Running Back Du Jour In Chicago (2017)
Are The Arizona Cardinals In Big Trouble? (2017)
The Chiefs And The Patriots Aren’t Who We Thought They’d Be (2017)
NFL Preview 2017: Picks, Predictions, and Projections For Every Team (2017)
An Early Look At The 2017–2018 NFL MVP Race (2017)
Top Picks For The 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: AFC South (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: AFC West (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: AFC North (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: NFC West (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: NFC South (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: NFC North (2017)
2017–2018 NFL Season Preview: NFC East (2017)
Top Picks For the 2017 NFL Defensive Rookie Of The Year (2017)
Can Anyone Stop The New England Patriots? (2017)
Which NFL Teams Won Free Agency? (2017)
A New Horse Plotting The Course (2017)
Final 2017 Mock NFL Draft and Top 250 Big Board (2017)
2017 NFL Draft: Top 150 Big Board, version 2.0 (2017)
2017 NFL Mock Draft, Version 2.0 — The “Five Weeks Away” Edition (2017)
NFL Layoffs To Playoffs (2017)
2017 NFL Draft: Top 100 Big Board, version 1.0 (2017)
Super Bowl LI Preview: Is History on New England’s Side? (2017)
The Biggest Upsets In Super Bowl History (2017)
Mock 2017 NFL Draft 1.0 — The “Way Too Early” Edition
NFL Divisional Playoffs 2017 Preview: Down Go The Heavyweights? (2017)
Wild Card Preview: Miami At Pittsburgh (2017)
Aaron Rodgers Steals The Show, Again (2017)
10 Thoughts Entering Week 17 Of The 2016 NFL Season (2016)
Greg Hardy Continues To Throw His Life Away (2016)
Is Colin Kaepernick Done In San Francisco? (2016)
Did The Vikings Give Up Too Much For Sam Bradford? (2016)
NFL Lines And Picks: Week 1, 2016 (2016)
NFL Picks, Predictions, And Projections For Every Team in 2016 (2016)
The 5 Most Interesting Teams In The NFL In 2016 (2016)
The Dallas Cowboys Will Be Just Fine Without Tony Romo (2016)
5 NFL Players That Are Kicking Ass In The Preseason (2016)
Three NFL Teams Set To Underperform in 2016 (2016)
The NFL’s “Independence Day Team,” Part 3: Special Teams and Coaching Staff (2016)
The NFL’s “Independence Day Team,” Part 2: Offense (2016)
The NFL’s “Independence Day Team,” Part 1: Defense (2016)
Final 2016 Mock Draft + Top 150 Big Board (2016)
2016 NFL Mock Draft (2016)
2016 NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Post Combine Edition (2016)
2016 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (2016)
15 Thoughts For NFL Week 15 (2015)
14 Thoughts Entering NFL Week 14 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 13 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 8 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 7 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 6 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 4 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 3 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 2 (2015)
NFL Lines And Picks 2015, Week 1 (2015)
2015–2016 NFL Preview And Predictions (2015)
2015 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 And Top 150 Big Board (2015)
Seven Thoughts On The Eve Of The 2015 NFL Draft (2015)
2015 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (2015)
NFL Mock Draft 2015 v1.0: Pre-Combine Edition (2015)
Super Bowl XLIX Preview: A Clash of Title Fighters (2015)
NFL Playoff Picks: The Championship Round (2014)
NFL Picks: The Wild Card Round (2014)
NFL Lines And Picks, Week 16 (2014)
NFL Lines And Picks, Week 15 (2014)
NFL Lines And Picks, Week 14 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 12 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 10 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 8 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 7 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 6 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 4 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 3 (2014)
NFL Lines And Winners For Week 2 (2014)
Week 1 NFL Lines And Winners (2014)
NFL Preview And Predictions For 2014 (2014)
Playing The Odds: Who’s Going To Draft Johnny Manziel? (2014)
NFL Mock Draft 1.0, …


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This James Beard restaurant features a burger that could be a headline entrée in its award-winning home.

Put into boxing terms, you could almost think of Central as renowned Chef Michel Richard’s “undercard” restaurant when juxtaposed with his heavyweight venue Citronelle in the Georgetown are of Washington, D.C..

Similar to how many of the superhero chefs who own both upscale and “economical bistro” offerings in our nation’s capital, Central is certainly more of the latter. Or, to put it another way: if you want to impress a girl on a first date, without reeking of trying too hard, you take her to Central. …


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The unheralded candidate just might be the right man for the job.

When a local content creator, thirsting to beat the supremely-plugged-in national media for a scoop, sent out a tweet claiming that the Philadelphia Eagles were close to a deal to hire current New England Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels as their next Head Coach, I thought it was a great decision… for anyone, like me, who revels in the schadenfraude pertaining to the NFC East rivals of my beloved Washington Football Team.

While I don’t despise the Eagles with quite the same vitriol that I own for the New York Giants and the Dallas Cowboys, I would’ve been more than delighted to see the Eagles wander in a 6–10 wilderness over the next few seasons with someone like McDaniels manning their sidelines; after all, the Bill Belichick coaching tree yields the same crops that I do when I try to plant and grow basically anything: they’re dead on arrival. …


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One of the most underrated cheeseburgers in the Washington, D.C. suburbs, as a result of the unique cheese offering it comes with.

Matchbox-Rockville is located at 1699 Rockville Pike, in the Congressional Plaza shopping center in Rockville, Maryland.

Why is this relevant?

Because anyone from the Rockville and surrounding area is well aware that this venue has been nothing more than a revolving door of failed restaurants for the better part of the last decade.

  • It started as a “That’s Amore”
  • then became another restaurant
  • then probably something else
  • Then, it moonlighted as some golf-themed restaurant that seemed wildly unpopular
  • and there was also probably something else after that; but believe me, whatever it was, it certainly wasn’t memorable

Given that history, I’d place a very, very large wager that Matchbox-Rockville is going to end that trend. These days, if you attempt to dine at 1699 Rockville Pike on a given night of the week without a reservation (even on a Monday or Tuesday), expect a wait — with those waiting times creeping over an hour or so on the always-popular Thursday through Saturday evenings. …


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Tampa Bay might have the NFC’s biggest name; Green Bay might have the NFC’s top record; but New Orleans might have the NFC’s best team.

Let the record show that in those moments when I’m hilariously wrong about a certain prediction or prognostication or pontification, I’m not afraid to admit them or even make light of them.

Case in point? Before the season started, as part of my 2020–2021 NFL season preview (which ended up as little more than a haphazard post on Instagram), I agonized over whether to pick the Dallas Cowboys or the New Orleans Saints as the team that would win the George Halas trophy as the National Football Conference champions, and represent the NFC in the Super Bowl LV.

Obviously, I was dead wrong in eventually choosing the Cowboys to be that team; I suppose that’s karmic retribution, of sorts, for saying anything nice about them. But I’ll take a little bit of solace in recognizing that the arguments for why the Saints could be the very best team in the conference were plentiful, if not…


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The Bills look plenty capable of defeating the reigning AFC Champions and advancing to Super Bowl LV.

There’s a phrase I’ve borrowed in recent years, from the legendary Ric Flair, when discussing which team I believe will win the AFC and advance to the Super Bowl:

“To Be The Man, You Gotta Beat The Man”

The Rock is my favorite wrestler of all time… but nobody in wrestling history cut a better promo than Ric Flair

So until someone proves us otherwise, Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs are the favorites to win the Lamar Hunt trophy as the American Football Conference champion, and represent the AFC in Super Bowl LV. You’d almost be a fool to bet against them doing so. Outside of losing an otherwise meaningless game in Week 17 (a game in which Mahomes didn’t play), the Chiefs lost a grand total of one game this season — a Week 6 game against their division rival Las Vegas Raiders way back in early-to-mid-October. …


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Even after another disastrous season, there are reasons to believe that the New York Jets will stop flying in circles

Whether or not the forever-suffering individuals who identify as fans of the New York Jets, believe in Santa Claus or Christmas miracles or the supposed “magic” of this time of the year, this holiday season has at least granted them one major gift: the fact that the dismissal of Adam Gase — perhaps as early as this Monday morning — seems all but inevitable (even if that move too WAAAAY too long to make in the first place).

And while such a dismissal in and of itself is unquestionably worthy for a raging celebration all over Gotham, the more prescient part of such a parting of ways is that it’s major step in the right direction, which builds on some of the slower but steadier moves the Jets have made to get themselves out of being one of the NFL’s perennial doormats. …


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Their slow start and continued shortcomings largely stem from one frustratingly familiar source.

One of the most creative descriptions for the exasperation felt by the recently-acquired Russell Westbrook yesterday evening, as the Washington Wizards lost their fourth-straight game to start the 2020–2021 NBA season, came from Quinton Mayo, a Washington Wizards Analyst for @NBCSWashington:

“Your newly acquired 2016–17 league MVP sat on the end of the ‘bench’ postgame looking like that Popeyes lady on her lunch break.”

Certainly, the exasperation felt by Westbrook at the end of last night’s loss was more than palpable; it basically screamed “what the hell did I get myself into?

The irony of that sentiment is the fact that Westbrook should be very well aware of what he got himself into, considering he basically okayed the recent blockbuster deal that sent him to our nation’s capital (in exchange for beloved if not greatly flawed point guard John Wall), to reunite with his first head coach in the NBA. …


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How one starry arrival in Tampa dimmed the shine of two existing stars.

Explain this to me like I’m an idiot (I fully recognize that shouldn’t be hard to accomplish): how is it that the two Pro Bowl receivers on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — Mike Evans and Chris Godwinhave been targeted less often this season than 18 different wide receivers, 2 different wide receivers, and even a running back have ALL been targeted by their respective quarterbacks?

How is it that, a year after the duo recorded 1,157 yards and 1,333 yards receiving respectively, both of these guys are on pace to finish with less than 800 yards receiving this year? …


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Could a loss on Sunday night spell the end of Matt Nagy’s time in Chicago?

Chicago Bears’ Head Coach Matt Nagy would probably prefer if nobody talked about the fact that, since assuming his present role in 2018, he has not lost a single game to the Detroit Lions — the team that Nagy and the Bears face this Sunday.

He’d probably prefer if you didn’t talk about the fact that his team has beaten the Lions by at least four points in each of Chicago’s 5 matchups against Detroit, or the fact that Mitchell Trubisky was the Bears’ starting quarterback in each of those five games, either.

Because, if Nagy and the Bears do lose to Detroit this Sunday, all of those facts are very much going to come back to haunt him. …

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