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Posted: 12/26/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner hasn’t forgotten what happened this past August when the Seahawks were facing the Los Angeles Chargers.It was late in the first quarter when Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers decided to take a timeout because he didn’t like the play against Seattle’s defensive alignment. But the part that Wagner remembers: Rivers knew the exact name of Seattle’s defensive call.“He called timeout and was like Doug Flutie Color Rush Jersey , ‘Dang, they’re running strong something,’ and I’m like we just changed the name yesterday, how’d you do that?” Wagner recalled. “Maybe he just luckily chose that, I don’t know. It was kind of funny, I’m like how did he know the name? The quarterbacks know the play, they never know the name of the play.”Knowing the play didn’t really matter back in August, but it will Sunday when the surging Chargers face the equally improving Seahawks. Los Angeles (5-2) has won four straight and is coming off a bye week following its 20-19 win over Tennessee in London. The Seahawks (4-3) have won four of five — including a victory in London — and the game against the Chargers starts a stretch with six of the final nine games at home for Seattle.And Rivers is the introduction to a challenging month of elite quarterbacks the Seahawks will face and challenge Seattle’s overhauled defense that has climbed its way back to being among the best in the NFL halfway through the season. After Rivers, the Seahawks will face Jared Goff, Aaron Rodgers and Cam Newton in consecutive weeks.“The biggest difference is you used to go in — and this is not by any means slighting the roster, the defensive lineup now — but you used to go into that game, and you could just say, who is on Seattle’s defense, and you could write out every one right because they had been together for so long, back-to-back Super Bowls, won the Super Bowl against Denver,” Rivers said. “Now there’s just been so much change on that defense, but there’s still the same scheme, and there’s plenty of names that you can recognize. So it’s a good group.”The Chargers should get running back Melvin Gordon back after he missed the win in London with a hamstring injury. Gordon has combined with fellow running back Austin Ekeler to have 1,283 yards from scrimmage and the pair is averaging 6.65 yards per touch.Seattle’s running backs are providing and equally important contribution to the Seahawks recent success. Chris Carson has become Seattle’s primary runner and posted his third 100-yard game in last week’s win over Detroit. Beginning with Week 3, only the Los Angeles Rams have more carries or yards rushing than the Seahawks — and Los Angeles has played one more game.“I think they know what’s working. That’s kind of their formula,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said. “They have been averaging about 30 rush attempts a game and it’s working.”Here’s what else to watch as the former AFC West foes meet for the 51st time overall:200 STRAIGHT FOR RIVERSRivers will make his 200th consecutive regular-season start. He’ll be the fourth quarterback and the eighth player since the merger to reach that milestone. The 15-year veteran is off to one of the best starts of his career. He’s second in the league with a 117.8 passer rating and tied for third in touchdowns with 17.“Obviously, you want to be able to out there and help. It’s not just be out there. You want to play at a high level, and that’s been up and down over 199, but being out there means something,” Rivers said.THE OTHER QBWhile much of the focus has been on the quarterbacks Seattle is about to face, the Seahawks’ own QB is playing pretty well.Russell Wilson posted the first perfect passer rating in Seahawks history last week against Detroit when he completed 14 of 17 passes for 248 yards and three touchdowns. With the focus on the run game, Wilson’s task passing has become efficiency and taking advantage when opportunities are presented. In the past three games, Wilson has nine TD passes on just 61 pass attempts.BIG PLAY WILLIAMSWith most opposing defenses continuing to double-team Keenan Allen, Chargers WR Tyrell Williams has emerged as a big-play threat. Six of his 10 receptions in the past three games have been for 26 yards or more and three have gone for touchdowns. According to Sportradar, four of those receptions have been on go routes with the other two being post routes.HEAVY HEARTSSunday will be the first home game for the Seahawks since the death of owner Paul Allen, who died on Oct. 15. He was 65. Allen was responsible for purchasing the team and keeping the Seahawks in Seattle, along with the construction of CenturyLink Field.Seattle’s first coach, Jack Patera, also passed away earlier this week at age 85. Here’s a crazy thought: The Houston Texans with home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.Yep, the team that began the season 0-3 just might sneak past the Chiefs and Patriots and claim that coveted spot.The Texans have won nine in a row. They’ve done so in all sorts of ways, from strong defense to opportunistic offense to solid special teams to superb coaching.On Sunday Trevor Williams Color Rush Jersey , they face Indianapolis (6-6) and can pretty much knock the Colts out of postseason contention with a win.Indianapolis has won three of the past four against the Texans in a series in which the past eight games were decided by seven or fewer points.Should Houston get by the Colts, the remainder of the schedule has visits to the Jets and Eagles and a home finale against Jacksonville. Considering that two-month string of wins, why can’t the Texans run the table?“It’s a small accomplishment,” says defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, who has justified being the top overall pick in the 2014 draft. “We still haven’t even won the division with winning nine in a row, we have no playoff spot, nothing right now locked up.“So, it’s a small accomplishment, but hopefully it will lead to bigger things for us. We’re playing for much more than just the division right now. We’re trying to play for first, second, third seed, whoever is ahead of us right now.”That would be Kansas City (10-2) and New England (also 9-3). Both have a more testing December.“I think it’s when you start to look ahead, or you start to get overly excited about accomplishments that, not don’t mean anything, but winning nine in a row, winning a division, you take things one day at a time,” J.J. Watt adds.“I think that’s the biggest mentality I’ve taken away from it all is just control what you can control. If you try to start controlling things that you can’t control, then you can get in trouble.The weekend began with Thursday night with Tennessee’s 30-9 home victory over Jacksonville.Derrick Henry sped and stiff-armed his way to a record-tying 99-yard touchdown run for Tennessee (7-6). Henry tied Tony Dorsett’s 99-yarder on Jan. 3, 1983, for Dallas against Minnesota for the longest TD run in NFL history. Henry set a franchise record with 238 yards on just 16 carries, topping the previous mark of 228 yards set by Chris Johnson in 2009 against yes, the Jaguars. Henry finished with a career-high four TDs, tying Lorenzo White and Hall of Fame running back Earl Campbell for most rushing TDs in a single game in franchise history.Jacksonville dropped to 4-9.New Orleans (10-2) at Tampa Bay (5-7)The Saints take the NFC South with a win or a Carolina loss. They’re eager to get back on the field after their worst performance of 2018, a Thursday night loss at Dallas in which they were overwhelmed by the Cowboys‘ defense.Tampa Bay, which has gained more yards on offense than anyone — yes, even New Orleans — won the first meeting to open the season. Then the Saints won their next 10 games.Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston has not turned over the ball since regaining the starting job two weeks ago. In the past three games, one in relief, Winston has completed 61 of 84 (72.6 percent) with six touchdowns and one interception for a 119.1 rating.Los Angeles Rams (11-1) at Chicago (8-4)The Rams already own the NFC West title. They earn a first-round playoff bye by beating the Bears.This is an intriguing matchup, LA’s second-ranked offense against Chicago’s No. 4 defense. The Bears are second stingiest against the run, and the Rams’ Todd Gurley leads the NFL in both yards rushing (1,175) and yards from scrimmage (1,649). Chicago’s defense leads the NFL with 21 interceptions and will test Jared Goff.Chicago hopes to have regular quarterback Mitchell Trubisky back from a shoulder injury that cost him two games. He’ll need to watch for Rams DT Aaron Donald, making a strong statement for a second straight NFL Defensive Player of the Year award. He tops the NFL with 16½ sacks, has at least two in three straight games.New England (9-3) at Miami (6-6)A Patriots win — this is one place they don’t like, having lost four of the past five at Miami — means yet another AFC East crown, 10 in a row. Tom Brady has won 12 of his past 13 starts within the division. He’s also ready to establish another NFL record: Brady has 579 career TD passes Dan Fouts Color Rush Jersey , including postseason, tied with Peyton Manning for the most.New England also has found a rushing defense, not allowing a 100-yard gainer since Week 3.Miami has been outgained by 1,168 yards and is on pace to break the 1967 team record yet is in wild-card contention. The Dolphins do rank third with 25 takeaways.Baltimore (7-5) at Kansas City (10-2)Cincinnati (5-7) at Los Angeles Chargers (9-3)Pittsburgh (7-4-1) at Oakland (2-10)Two AFC division races involved here.The Ravens have crept within a half-game of the Steelers in the North, but they have a massive challenge at KC while Pittsburgh shouldn’t struggle much at lowly Oakland.Beating the high-powered Chiefs at Arrowhead calls for a monstrous defensive showing, and Baltimore has the top-ranked D. It also has a clock-killing run game with rookie Lamar Jackson at QB: The Ravens have had at least 200 yards rushing in three straight weeks.Still, Kansas City is 5-0 at home and leads the league in scoring at 37 points a game. Patrick Mahomes has a league-leading 41 TD passes and 43 throws of 25-plus yards.Kansas City, which gets a playoff berth with a win, can’t afford a stumble with the Chargers one game back; they meet next Thursday night. With Cincinnati in a rugged, injury-caused slump, LA could romp Sunday.The Chargers have a few complicated ways of getting at least a wild card this week. Philip Rivers has thrown two or more TDs in each of his first 12 games, tied for the third-longest streak to begin a season in NFL history.Rivers has 10 TDs and six INTs in six games against the Bengals, who have won four straight meetings in the regular season.The Raiders have won the past three home games in this series since losing in 1995 and the Steelers are 3-8 all time in Oakland. Still, unless they hand things to the Raiders, they should win even without standout RB James Conner (ankle).Minnesota (6-5-1) at Seattle (7-5), Monday nightWhoever emerges here has an inside track to a wild-card berth, though the Vikings still think they can grab the NFC North title.Seattle is exceptional in prime time: 24-5-1 since 2010. Russell Wilson has 29 touchdown passes and five interceptions through 12 games. He has thrown at least two touchdowns in eight straight outings and has 16 touchdowns and two interceptions in Monday night games. Plus, the Seahawks are leading the NFL averaging 148.8 yards per game rushing.But Seattle has been inconsistent defending the pass, and Kirk Cousins tops the league with 350 completions. Adam Thielen leads the NFL with 98 catches, is second in yards with 1,166, and tied for fifth in TDs with nine. Thielen and Stefon Diggs are the only pair of teammates in the NFC with 80 or more receptions.Philadelphia (6-6) at Dallas (7-5)A Cowboys victory gives them control of the NFC East; they won at Philly earlier this season. Dallas has won four straight and comes off that impressive victory against the Saints, followed by a nice rest.Eagles TE Zach Ertz has already established a single-season franchise record with 93 receptions He’s 18 away from breaking Jason Witten’s NFL record for TEs.New York Giants (4-8) at Washington (6-6)Remember Mark Sanchez? He’s now the Redskins‘ starter with both Alex Smith and Colt McCoy out with broken legs. It’s his first start since 2015, and the Redskins are a banged-up bunch everywhere.New York, which lost star safety Landon Collins (shoulder) for the rest of the season, has won three of four since its bye. RB Saquon Barkley and WR Odell Beckham Jr., are having big years despite a leaky offensive line.Atlanta (4-8) at Green Bay (4-7-1)Most interesting storyline is Joe Philbin taking over as Packers coach and calling plays for the first time in his pro career. Aaron Rodgers has thrown a franchise-record 336 attempts without an interception, trailing only Brady (358 in 2010-11) for the longest such stretch in league history.Linebacker Deion Jones had a career-high 15 tackles and one sack last week, returning after missing 10 games while injured. But the Atlanta defense is 31st against third downs (51 percent).Denver (6-6) at San Francisco (2-10)The Broncos have awakened with three consecutive victories. But they have one road win in the past 30 seasons vs. the 49ers. They lost top wideout Emmanuel Sanders in practice this week with a torn Achilles tendon.San Francisco’s five takeaways are the fewest through 12 games since at least 1940. The previous low was seven for Jacksonville in 2016.Carolina (6-6) at Cleveland (4-7-1)A four-game slide has seriously endangered the Panthers‘ playoff chances. Their passing game has struggled and now Cam Newton has a sore right shoulder. He was picked off four times last week.But they’re averaging 140.8 rushing yards per game, only behind Seattle’s 148.8.Coach Ron Rivera fired D-line coach Brady Hoke and assistant secondary/cornerbacks coach Jeff Imamura.Top overall draft pick Baker Mayfield threw three interceptions in the first half in a loss at Houston to dampen some of the enthusiasm in Cleveland. The Browns lead the AFC with 27 takeaways.New York Jets (3-9) at Buffalo (4-8)It looks as if Sam Darnold is recovered from his strained right foot, setting up a matchup with fellow first-round selection Josh Allen among rookie QB prospects.Darnold has a 3-6 record and has thrown a league-high 14 interceptions. Allen has 391 yards passing, three TDs and two interceptions, and 234 yards rushing and a TD in his past two games since missing four with a sprained right throwing elbow.Detroit (4-8) at Arizona (3-9)The Lions have lost eight straight at Arizona, their last win coming in 1993. Plus, Detroit is 0-3 against the NFC West this season.Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald needs one catch to move ahead of Jerry Rice for the most receptions for one team in NFL history. Fitzgerald needs one TD catch to match Antonio Gates for sixth on the career list.
Posted: 12/25/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
On Wednesday, coach Sean McVay wasn’t ready to agree with Talib wholeheartedly.“That’s a vet move right there,” McVay told reporters regarding Talib’s self-declared estimate of his ability to play.“Aqib [is] putting a lot of pressure on [Senior Director of Sports Medicine and Performance] Reggie Scott and our training staff. So we’ll see if they’re as good as they Los Angeles Rams Hats say they are, then Aqib should be ready to go Los Angeles Rams Hoodie ,” McVay said with a laugh. “He is making great progress. I know he wants to be out there as soon as possible. We would want him to be out there as soon as possible, but we’re continuing to take it day-to-day. Certainly, he’s a guy that we anticipate using one of those [injured reserve return] designations on. When that is exactly, I don’t know. I love the fact that Aqib wants to get back as soon as possible, but we’ll see if Reggie earns his paycheck and he can make that thing happen.”Talib injured his ankle in Week Three. Each team can designate two players who were on the initial 53-man roster for return from injured reserve. Several years ago https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Ethan-Westbrooks-Jersey , the NFL adjusted the flexing procedures to protect Sunday Night Football against a significant injury that would make a competitive and compelling game not quite as competitive or compelling.The NFL is invoking those procedures in 12 days.The league has announced that the Rams-49ers game set for October 20 has been replaced. Bengals-Chiefs will be televised instead that night on NBC.It makes a lot of sense, given that the 49ers lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo for the season. It makes even more sense given that the 49ers were scheduled to play in prime time four times from Week Six through Week 10.It makes the most sense because the Bengals are 4-1 and the Chiefs are 5-0. Kansas City has a stellar offense with plenty of stars, including an emerging franchise quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.Ultimately, the change in games will result in much higher ratings for the Sunday night window, and the league wisely is doing whatever it can to boost the ratings of the prime-time windows. But there’s no guarantee that Rams-49ers would have been a clunker. Last year Jack Youngblood Color Rush Jersey , they produced a 41-39 prime-time barnburner, with Brian Hoyer at quarterback for San Francisco.Still, Bengals-Chiefs should be the better game, and it should draw a bigger crowd. It also will place the Chiefs on Sunday Night Football twice in three weeks.
Posted: 12/25/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
 After fellow safety Andrew Sendejo was injured back in Week 5 Ben Gedeon Color Rush Jersey , Harris has stepped in and played well above what just about anyone could have expected. Now, during this holiday season, he’s stepping up off the field as well.Yes, Harris has opened up his home to a new family member, a 2-month old Siamese mix cat named Cookie.Harris was one of a number of Vikings that was part of a volunteer event at the Animal Humane Society in Minneapolis last Tuesday. At that time, he expressed a desire to adopt a pet, and though he’s generally a dog person, he knew that with his hectic schedule that might not be an option. But, he apparently went back to the shelter yesterday, found Cookie, and simply couldn’t say no.This is one of those times of the year where a lot of folks are looking to bring a new pet into their home, whether it’s for themselves or their children. It’s nice to see Harris making some room in his home to bring in a new pet for a second chance. Kudos to him, and kudos to everyone that’s going to make their way to their local shelter this holiday season to give one of our animal friends a new home. There have been a lot of reasons, excuses, and theories thrown out about the drop in production for the Minnesota Vikings offense compared to last year. Some people think it’s offensive coordinator’s John DeFilippo’s inconsistent play calling. Others think it’s a bad offensive line, still others point to some serious off the field issues that could still have lingering after effects.It could be one, some, or all of those things, but one thing is certain: The Minnesota Vikings offense Mackensie Alexander Jersey , for whatever reason, is not nearly as good at sustaining drives this season as they were last season.Here, let’s look at this graphically. First, we’ll look at the total number of drives, how many total three and out drives they had, and how many consecutive three and out drives the Vikings have had in the last two seasons:*Through 12 gamesIn 2017 the Vikings offense had a total of 185 drives. Of those, 40 went three and out with a punt, or three plays or less with a turnover, or 22% of the time if you round it up (I didn’t include three and out drives or less that were kneel downs to end a half or a game). Of those 40 drives when the Vikings offense went three and out and punted or turned the ball over, they only did it on consecutive drives seven times all season, and in three of those games, there were some significant extenuating circumstances. In week two, against Pittsburgh, they had back to back three and out drives. If you remember, that was the game that Case Keenum became the accidental starter because of Sam Bradford’s ‘week to week’ knee issue that became a season long saga.In consecutive games against Detroit and Chicago, they had three consecutive three and out drives. But if you remember, one of the drives in that Detroit game was when Dalvin Cook fumbled as he reached for his freshly torn ACL, and everyone in the stadium and watching at home instantly thought the season was over. The following week in Chicago, Sam Bradford tried to comeback Adam Thielen Color Rush Jersey , and the Vikings opened the game with three consecutive three and out sequences. One of those drives resulted in a safety, because Bradford had about as much mobility as a petrified piece of wood stuck in sand. The following week, with no real issues, they had consecutive three and out drives against Green Bay.Consecutive three and out drives would not happen again until week 15, against the Panthers on the road.Let’s contrast that with 2018. So far this season, the Vikings have had 142 drives. In 142 drives, they’ve gone three and out and punted, or three and less with a turnover 40 times, as many as they had in all of 2017, or 28% of the time. They’ve almost doubled their amount of consecutive three and out drives, too. In 2017, they went three and out on three straight drives twice all year, as discussed above. In 2018 they’ve already done it three times—week one against San Francisco, then against Arizona, and finally against the Jets. Ironically, the Vikings won all three of those games. So, with that in mind, how does that affect the defense? After that second or third consecutive three and out drive, what did the opposing offense do? Let’s take a look https://www.minnesotavikingsshop.com/Mike-Remmers-Jersey , game by game for the last two seasons. I created a chart that gives us the game and week, the result the opposing offense had after the second consecutive three and out drive, the third consecutive one (if applicable), and the final score of the game. Let’s look at 2017 first, then this season.2017:2018:*Minnesota had two separate instances where they went three and out on consecutive drives.**Against Arizona, the Vikings had consecutive three and out drives, and then later in the game a three consecutive three and out sequence.I just assumed that after a second or third consecutive three and out drive by the Vikings offense, the defense would get tired and give up points, but that’s not necessarily the case. The Vikings defense is holding their own, for the most part, giving up only three touchdowns after a second consecutive three and out drive, and no points allowed after a three consecutive three and out sequence. And when they have given up a touchdown, the Vikings have still won two of the three games in which that’s happened.Still, the fact that the number of three and out drives this year has already equalled all of last year is a cause for concern, and if you want to look at the main root of the Vikings problems offensively, we can start here and move outward.
Posted: 12/25/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Edelman is slotted there  , behind only running back James White, despite missing all of 2017 due to a torn ACL, and despite missing the first four weeks of 2018 for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.It’s been much of what it was since the 32-year-old made his return on Oct. 4 against the Indianapolis Colts.And that hasn’t been lost on the quarterback throwing him the football heading into a meeting with the Tennessee Titans.“Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely,” Tom Brady told reporters during his press conference Friday afternoon. “I mean, Julian’s been such a great player for our team. I think his mental and physical toughness are just unmatched in a lot of ways. I have so much confidence in him.”That confidence has given way to Edelman drawing 44 targets from Brady over New England’s last five games. Just White, with 51, has drawn more in New England’s passing game over that span.BRADY-TO-EDELMAN PASSING LOGWeek New England Patriots Hats 5 vs. Indianapolis: 7-of-9 for 57 yardsWeek 6 vs. Kansas City: 4-of-7 for 54 yards, touchdownWeek 7 vs. Chicago: 5-of-8 for 36 yards, touchdownWeek 8 vs. Buffalo: 9-of-10 for 104 yardsWeek 9 vs. Green Bay: 6-of-10 for 71 yardsThe byproduct has been 31 completions for 311 yards, 17 first downs and a pair of touchdowns.That puts Edelman on pace to finish his abbreviated 2018 having accounted for 74 completions, 746 yards, 40 first touchdowns and a handful of touchdowns by way of his teammate of nine seasons.“He really does all the dirty work for us,” said Brady. “He’s so scrappy, goes in there and blocks hard, catches balls over the middle. We put him in a lot of different positions, and he always seems to come through for us. So, battling what he’s really had to battle and come back from is impressive in itself.”More than 600 days had passed since Edelman last appeared in game where the final score mattered. More than 400 days had passed since his preseason jump and non-contact fall at Ford Field.More than 30 days would be tacked on.But Edelman has now been in for more than half of New England’s offensive snaps this season in just over half of the 7-2 sample size.“He’s extremely tough, he’s been very durable playing-wise, outside of his ACL and a couple other little things,” Brady said. “But he’s been out there a lot for us, and again, we have a lot of confidence in him as a player.”Edelman has handled five rushes for 48 yards and returned five punts for 23 yards, as well. And last Sunday night at Gillette Stadium New England Patriots Hoodie , he picked up another 37 yards with his arm on a screening double-pass to White in the fourth quarter of a tie game against the Green Bay Packers.No discernible changes in usage there.“There’s a lot of guys that go through those injuries and don’t come back the same,” added Brady, whose 2008 season ended after 11 pass attempts. “And Julian, to me, looks the same as he’s always looked.” To Heinz Field the New England Patriots will go.And some familiar faces will meet them there with playoff seeds on the line.A total of six former Patriots reside between the Pittsburgh Steelers’ active roster and practice squad heading into Sunday’s encounter. That assortment now in black and yellow includes a couple of running backs and linebackers, as well as one tight end and cornerback.But there’s also another couple ex-Steelers to account for in New England’s fold.Here’s a glance through those roster connections as the 4:25 p.m. ET kickoff edges closer.PITTSBURGHStevan Ridley, running back – A third-round pick out of LSU in 2011, Ridley went on to spend four seasons with the organization that drafted him. Ridley rushed for 2,817 yards and 22 touchdowns on 649 carries over that span, but a torn ACL and MCL would end his final go-round in October 2014. He’d earn a Super Bowl XLIX ring and made consequent stops with six teams before regaining ground with Pittsburgh late in 2017. Ridley, now 29, has rushed 49 times for 168 yards and two scores over 10 games as a Steeler.Ralph Webb, running back – Webb, who signed to Pittsburgh’s practice squad last Tuesday, entered the league as a Patriots undrafted signing this spring. The Vanderbilt record-setter accounted for a trio of touchdowns and a pair of two-point conversions during his rookie preseason with New England. Webb was waived and retained on the Patriots’ scout team to begin the regular season, yet was released in October. A three-week stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers arrived next before Webb made his way to Pittsburgh.Xavier Grimble, tight end – Grimble’s cup of coffee with the Patriots came in November 2014, when the tight end by way of the USC Trojans, New York Giants and San Francisco 49ers joined the practice squad only to be let go two days later. Grimble then revisited San Francisco and latched on in Pittsburgh as a futures signing in January 2016. There he has stuck to appear in the first 41 games of his NFL career. Grimble has caught 21 passes – with three versus New England – for 223 yards and three scores during that stretch.Jon Bostic, linebacker – The Chicago Bears sent Bostic, the No. 50 overall pick in the 2013 draft, to Foxborough to close September 2015. The linebacker via Florida would appear in 11 games, with one start, for the Patriots thenceforth before being sent to the Detroit Lions for a conditional seventh-round pick in 2016. Bostic spent that season on injured reserve and then logged a 97-tackle season with the Indianapolis Colts in 2017. Through 13 games in Pittsburgh https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/Jason-Mccourty-Jersey , he’s started a dozen while notching 66 tackles and a career-high 2.5 sacks.L.J. Fort, linebacker – Fort stepped into the Patriots’ facility midway through training camp in 2015, and the Northern Iowa alum would remain for two weeks and one preseason game. Fort, who has also been a member of the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals, joined Pittsburgh roughly 24 hours after his Patriots exit. He’s gone on to play in 41 games with the Steelers, accruing 54 tackles and four pass breakups through 350 snaps on defense and 768 on special teams.Mike Hilton, cornerback – Sept. 6 to Sept. 14, 2016 marked the extent of Hilton’s journey in New England. The undrafted nickelback out of Ole Miss partook in his initial preseason with the Jacksonville Jaguars prior to accruing that week-plus on the Patriots’ practice squad. Hilton later agreed to join Pittsburgh’s practice squad after his New England release. A futures contract would follow. So would the initial 28 appearances, 107 tackles, five sacks, forced fumble, 14 passes defended and three interceptions of Hilton’s career.NEW ENGLANDBrian Hoyer, quarterback – The Steelers became the second checkpoint on Hoyer’s NFL itinerary in November 2012. But Hoyer, who’d been cut by New England at the end of that August, would be cut by Pittsburgh one-third of the way through December. Hoyer did not take a snap under center during his time with the Steelers, yet has taken regular-season snaps with an additional six teams since then, including the team that signed him as a rookie free agent out of Michigan State all the way back in 2009.Damoun Patterson, wide receiver – Patterson, who has resided on New England’s practice squad since early November, originally signed with Pittsburgh as undrafted free agency got underway in April. The 24-year-old wideout from Youngstown State caught nine passes for 112 yards and a touchdown through his first two exhibitions as a Steeler, and remained one through the first week of September. Patterson went on to make a stop on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ practice fields this fall before finding himself on New England’s.
Posted: 12/25/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
 The New Orleans defense, so improved a year ago, has struggled for the most part this season. They've given up the most points in the NFL thus far, and rank 30th in the league in total yardage. They oppose a New York offense that ranks 24th, and has scored an average of just 18 points per game. Despite their middle of the pack offensive numbers, the Giants have quite a bit of ability at the skill positions, and present a big test against a Saints defense that looks far from playoff caliber. Today, we have a look at how the New Orleans defense stacks up against their upcoming opponent. SAINTS RUN DEFENSE vs. GIANTS Michael Thomas Color Rush Jersey RUN OFFENSE Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY SportsThe Saints run defense was one of the team's biggest perceived areas of concern heading into the 2018 season. They have held up well against opposing rushers though, ranking 6th against the run and giving up only 3 yards per rush, best mark in the league. Linebackers Demario Davis and A.J. Klein have done a solid job of diagnosing the run, then flowing through traffic to make the play. The Saints defensive line has been stout against the run, winning the point of attack and disrupting the opposing blocking. Defensive tackle Tyeler Davison has been out of the lineup the last two weeks with injury, but looks to return this week. Taylor Stallworth has stepped in and has given the team solid play inside along with Sheldon Rankins, but fellow tackle David Onyemata has struggled. Ends Cam Jordan and Alex Okafor play the run as well as any edge defenders in the NFL, and the Saints secondary swarms to the ball carrier well. Among the few things they've done right on the back end this year. The Giants used the second overall pick in this spring's draft to select dynamic Penn State running back Saquon Barkley. As a team, the Giants have run for just under four yards per rush and rank 25th in rushing yards. Barkley has run for 216 yards and a 4.7 average, and seems on the verge of breaking out. He has the skillset equal to any of the game's top runners, and will present a big threat to this New Orleans defense. The New York offensive line has been leaky in it's pass protection https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com/Benjamin-Watson-Jersey , but has done well enough in it's run blocking to open up creases for their talented back. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports~ Matchup to Watch: Saints LB's vs. Barkley ~Barkley already has one 100-yd rushing performance to his credit, and it was against a fine Jaguar defense in week one. He followed that up by catching 14 passes for 80 yards against Dallas in week two, and an 82 yard rushing output last week against a good Texans defense. The New Orleans linebackers have managed to control backs coming out of the backfield in the passing game, and the defense as a whole has done well preventing big runs. They have yet to face the type of all-around gamebreaking ability that they will see from Barkley. If the struggling New Orleans secondary is to focus their coverage on New York's outside receivers, as expected, then the onus falls on the team's linebackers to try and contain Barkley. Manti Te'o will miss his second straight game with injury, but Demario Davis and Alex Anzalone are the best two athletes among the linebacking unit. Klein and Craig Robertson also figure into the mix for the most challenging match up to date for this unit. SAINTS PASS DEFENSE vs. GIANTS PASS OFFENSE Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty ImagesSimply put, the New Orleans defense has been abysmal against the pass, giving up 333 yards per game through the air. They have given up more plays over 40 yards than any other team in the NFL, and the ten passing scores they've surrendered are the second worst in the league. The secondary, thought to be a strength, has been particularly awful. Pro bowl cornerback Marshon Lattimore is playing better after a rocky start, but fellow corners Ken Crawley and P.J. Williams have allowed opposing receivers to look like Hall of Famers. To make matters worse, defensive back Patrick Robinson was placed on injured reserve earlier this week for an ankle injury. The team has worked out a number of defensive backs, including former Redskin and Raider starter David Amerson, former Buccaneers reserve Josh Robinson, and former Saint Sterling Moore, but has yet to sign anyone other than practice squad addition Arrion Springs. Safety play hasn't been much better for the Saints. Free safety Marcus Williams has the team's only interception in three games Marshon Lattimore Jersey , but like Lattimore had gotten off to a slow start. Vonn Bell's play has regressed badly, and offseason free agent signee Kurt Coleman has done little to solidify deep coverage. New Orleans has not gotten a consistent pass rush up front to help their beleaguered secondary. Cameron Jordan is tied for the NFL sack lead with 4, and is the unquestioned leader of the defense. Marcus Davenport, who has been limited this week with a hip injury but is expected to play, recorded his first career sack last week and is improving with each game. Sheldon Rankins (1 sack) has given the defense a solid interior pass rush early in games, but the defense in general has done a poor job at getting opposing passers on the ground once they move away from the initial rush. That has bought the extra time necessary for an already shaky secondary to break down further. The Giants average 267 yards passing per game, ranking 17th in the league rankings.Quarterback Eli Manning, a potential future Hall of Famer, has completed nearly 74% of his passes, but has only thrown for 3touchdowns, along with an interception. Manning has one of the league's elite wideouts to throw to in Odell Beckham Jr. After missing all but four games with injury last season, the 25-yr old Beckham has returned with a force, catching 24 passes so far for 271 yards, but has yet to catch a touchdown. He is flanked by third year receiver Sterling Shephard, who is off to a bit of a slow start but has 14 receptions for 152 yards and a score. New York's offense was dealt a big blow when last year's number one draft choice, tight end Evan Engram, sustained a knee injury that will sideline him at least a few weeks. Engram's targets will be taken by Rhett Ellison, who does have a touchdown reception and operates well through the intermediate routes Alvin Kamara Color Rush Jersey , but lacks the athleticism of Engram to threaten a defense down the field. The Giants have struggled to protect their 37-yr old quarterback, allowing Manning to be sacked 12 times so far, and often heavily pressured. New York benched their 2015 top draft choice, right tackle Ereck Flowers, in favor of Chad Wheeler, and veteran left tackle Nate Solder has had his struggles as well. Manning has been sacked 10 times in the last two games, and most heavily pressured from the edge, which could spell disaster against talented outside rushers Jordan, Davenport, and Okafor. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images~ Key Matchups: Marshon Lattimore/Ken Crawley vs. Odell Beckham/Sterling Shepard ~The Saints have claimed that much of their issues in the secondary have been because of a lack of communication. While that may be true, many times they are getting beat badly in their one on one battles, therefore not allowing the time for any pass rush up front to have an effect on the play. Lattimore often locks on to the opponent's top receiver. He started last week lining up across from the Falcons Julio Jones. He switched over to Calvin Ridley midway through the game after Ridley tore Saints coverage apart, but Atlanta was intent on targeting P.J. Williams and Crawley. Don't be surprised to see the same approach this Sunday, with Lattimore often locked on to Beckham in a marquee showdown between two physical and athletic stars. That leaves the talented Shepard in the coverage of Crawley and Williams. Regardless of the cornerback and safety assignments, the Saints coverage must hold up off the snap at least initially to allow a chance for their pass rush to get to Manning.WHAT TO LOOK FORPhoto by Sean Gardner/Getty ImagesThe New York Giants have not scored over 30 points since the 2015 season finale (a 35-30 loss to the Eagles), a span of 35 games. The Saints pass rushers should be able to beat the New York offensive line, potentially causing Eli Manning a long day of harassment. Pressuring Manning usually equals multiple turnovers, but the quarterback has taken good care of the football this year despite constant duress. New Orleans must find a way to create big plays https://www.thesaintsfanshop.com/Thomas-Morstead-Jersey , a key to their success a year ago. They must find a way to limit the impact of Saquon Barkley by beating the blocking up front and closing down cutback lanes, while also containing him in the open field as a receiver. The Saints pass coverage at the snap, along with better communication over the top must be better. Coordinator Dennis Allen may have his cornerbacks get more physical at the snap, in hopes that Beckham and Shepard would be held up an extra second getting into their routes. Doing so could allow the New Orleans pass rush the time to disrupt Manning, forcing him into mistakes that the Saints defense has yet to cause this season. Another week, another Saints victory. This win may not have been as impressive as the previous two, but the defense really stepped up and limited the high flying Falcons offense to only 17 points on their way to a tenth straight victory.Bushrod on the edgeVeteran offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod got the start in place of the injured Terron Armstead and would have his hands full going against Takkarist McKinley and Bruce Irvin on the left side of the line. His day started off rough, giving up multiple pressures with one leading to a Brees sack by Terrell McClain, but the staff gave him some help with tight ends and running backs chipping the defensive ends. He was able to settle in some during the second half and provide better protection, but getting Armstead back soon will be paramount. The Saints will go against some talented front-sevens in he next few weeks with Dallas and Carolina coming up.Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports The LinebackersThe linebacker group is turning into one of the strongest units on this team. A.J. Klein was able to get consistent penetration on the Falcons offensive line and blew up a couple of plays in the backfield. He also nabbed his second career interception on a pass tipped by Tyeler Davison. Meanwhile, Alex Anzalone is really stepping up and making plays all over the field. He sent Julio Jones for a helicopter ride and forced a fumble to kill a possible scoring drive by the Falcons right before halftime. This is on top of what Demario Davis has been doing all season and is clearly the best defensive offseason addition the Saints have had in recent memory.The Undrafted Paradise Drew Brees threw four touchdown passes, all to players who did not hear their name called on draft day. Tommylee Lewis and Austin Carr both caught their second career touchdown receptions, while Dan Arnold and Keith Kirkwood were able to haul in their first touchdowns in the NFL. Games like this only bolster Drew Brees’s MVP chances as the usual suspects of pro bowlers Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara weren’t relied upon as often. Instead he was able to get the job done with guys who have less than double digit game experience. Carr’s touchdown came as a result of the hard bite by Atlanta’s cornerback on a play action fake. Carr lines up tight to the right side of the line. Brees will fake the hand-off then roll-out to his right as Carr stays in to block and help sell the play action. This draws the cornerback in to play the run, and Carr will slip out and run a corner route past the defender for the easy touchdown.Dan Arnold's touchdown would be a bit more difficult, as the safety was in decent position to defend the pass. Arnold did a good job at fighting off the jam from the safety at the line of scrimmage to get a step ahead of him on his go route. Brees also looked off the safety (#27) in the middle of the field and got him out of position. Without any help over the top, Arnold is able to haul in the perfectly placed pass from Brees.
Posted: 12/25/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Roethlisberger and Brown are one of the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver tandems in NFL history Donnie Shell Color Rush Jersey , but the duo has struggled to find a rhythm through four games as Pittsburgh has stumbled to a 1-2-1 start.They’ll seek consistency entering the Steelers‘ home game Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons.“It’s like Wi-Fi,” Brown said Friday. “Sometimes the connection is poor. Sometimes the connection is great. But it’s always connected.”Brown eclipsed 1,500 yards receiving three of the last four years and is the only player in NFL history to have five straight seasons with at least 100 receptions. Last season, the four-time All-Pro averaged 15.2 yards per catch on 101 receptions and he led the league with 1,533 yards, but his statistics are down this year.Brown’s 53 targets are second-most in the league, but he has just 29 receptions for 272 yards receiving and a 9.4-yard per catch average, well below his 13.4-yard career mark. Brown maintained Friday that his relationship with Roethlisberger is strong.“Me and Ben laugh about (the media) creating drama, writing about us, trying to create adversity and distractions https://www.steelerssportshop.com/Carnell-Lake-Jersey ,” Brown said. “We actually text about it. We communicate a lot on text messages about you guys.”Roethlisberger and Brown have connected on 723 completions, good for the fourth-most in NFL history between a quarterback and wide receiver. Their 62 touchdowns are the most in franchise history, and one score Sunday will tie Roethlisberger and Brown for No. 10 all-time with Johnny Unitas and Raymond Berry.Roethlisberger, who currently ranks second in the league with 1,414 passing yards, blamed himself for Brown’s slow start.“I think I just have to play better to help him get his numbers, which would help us get wins,” Roethlisberger said.Last week against Baltimore, Brown caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown on 11 targets. He was targeted five times in the second half, but caught one pass for five yards as Pittsburgh managed just 47 yards of offense after halftime during a 26-14 loss.Brown believes a win against the Falcons can cure the Steelers’ woes.“We’re going to make our plays L.C. Greenwood Jersey ,” said Brown, who needs one touchdown catch to tie John Stallworth for third-most in franchise history. “The plays will be there. We just gotta find a way to win.”Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin expects Roethlisberger and Brown to rebound.“They’ll smooth it out,” Tomlin said. “Oftentimes people spend a lot of time to minimize tandems such as (Roethlisberger and Brown), and usually over the course of the journey the cream rises, and they’ll show what they are capable of. They have done it for a long time. They’ll be the formidable tandem that they always are.”NOTES: S Morgan Burnett (groin), LB Vince Williams (hamstring) and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (ankle) are all listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game against Atlanta. Burnett would miss his third straight game. Williams’ streak of 83 consecutive regular-season games played 鈥?fourth-longest among active NFL linebackers 鈥?is expected to end. CB Mike Hilton is expected to return after missing the Ravens game with an elbow injury. The Baltimore Ravens are a team teetering on the brink of collapse having lost three of their last four games following a 3-1 start and the Pittsburgh Steelers could push them closer to the edge with a win over their division rivals at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. However, if the current spread is anything to go by, neither the betting public nor the bookmakers are especially convinced that will happen in Week 9.An opening line of 3-points has remained consistent throughout the week despite the Ravens injury concerns along the offensive line and recent results and it is something of a surprise to note the line has not even moved by half a point. While many will point to a 3-point spread as being the value of home field advantage, for most sportsbooks these days that figure is closer to 2.5-points, a position we expect to see closer to kickoff. Baltimore’s final injury report of the week on Friday afternoon may yet have some impact on the spread if some key names are ruled out of the game. There has been no change to an initial totals position of 47.5 points either Ernie Stautner Color Rush Jersey , a line that is still available with most sportsbooks at the time of writing. If there has been any notable movement in the betting, it has been the shift in the moneyline and even that has been marginal. From an early offering of +115, it is perhaps a sign of the public’s interest to note that Pittsburgh has drifted slightly to a best price of +135. An opening offering of -135 for Baltimore has been replaced by prices as short as -155. According to Oddsshark.com, Pittsburgh is 6-3 against the spread in their last nine road games and 4-3 ATS overall on the season. The total has gone over in seven of the Steelers last nine games and the under is 2-5 on the year. Pittsburgh is 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games versus Baltimore and the total has gone under in five of the Steelers last seven games against the Ravens.Although James Conner scored twice in Week 8, it was Antonio Brown who grabbed the first touchdown, but we will be sticking with the young running back once again this Sunday after he came through for us in Weeks 5 and 6. He should available at a price of around 6/1 for the games first touchdown and around 3/1 for first team touchdown. A saver on JuJu Smith-Schuster at around 10/1 and 5/1 respectively could also be worth a look this week.
Posted: 12/25/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
But when it came at the start of training camp in July 2014 Carlos Henderson Jersey , we knew it was the end of an era. That was when Pat Bowlen surrendered control of the team as he battled Alzheimer’s disease.The Broncos would go on to win Super Bowl 50, and John Elway was able to repay the legendary owner with those four magical words: “This one’s for Pat.” But since that moment, never has the absence of Mr. B been more apparent and painful. The last two seasons have been a textbook in ineptitude — on every level. The coaches can’t coach, the front office has more misses than hits, and the franchise still can’t get a name on its stadium. And now, many fans have given up 鈥?in Week Six. As I told Adam Malnati on the latest MHR Radio Podcast, the more than 9,000 no-shows on Sunday indicate we just need to call it “No-Show Stadium.” Our natural instinct is to point the blame at someone. Vance JosephThe rest of the coaching staffThe playersJohn Elway Joe EllisWhen a once proud franchise falls this far, all are to blame. There is more than enough to go around. But this problem runs much deeper and isn’t easily fixed. There’s no Mr. B. There’s no owner to hold the decision-makers accountable. Yes, Joseph will eventually get fired, as will his inept staff. The franchise will move on from the older veterans with larger salary cap hits and continue to push the “we’re a few moves away” bullshit. But what about the people at the top of the pecking order who triggered this derailment? Does anyone believe Ellis will even contemplate moving on from Elway? Does anyone honestly think Ellis will correct his own deficiencies? That’s the problem. Bowlen isn’t there to walk the halls of the facility to keep everyone in check. There is no owner to provide leadership or to hold every single employee accountable — regardless of title or name.Here’s the question that must be asked: How much longer can this go on? I get that the Bowlens want to keep the franchise in the family. They want to pass on a legacy and keep the tradition alive, similar to the Rooneys with the Pittsburgh Steelers. But at this point, the franchise cannot wait for one of the two Bowlen children to take over. The lack of leadership is inflicting damage on a weekly and seasonal basis, leaving a series of unwanted records in its wake. Last season’s team experienced its longest losing streak in 50 years, and the Broncos are now on pace to have back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in 45.The fans are losing interest and hope. No longer will fans give the franchise the benefit of the doubt, and when you lose Broncos Country, there is no greater indictment on the state of your franchise.The cheesy slogans are wearing thin. “No Plan B.” “Trust in Elway.” “This isn’t a rebuild, it’s a reload.”Then there’s the losing, but also how the team is losing. In embarrassing fashion, over and over again. Just like last season https://www.broncosfanstore.com/Ronald-Leary-Jersey , the amount of games Denver has a realistic shot at winning is running as thin as the oxygen here.That is unacceptable. The standards were once higher for this organization. And they still should be. Maintaining a winning tradition demands more than cheap publicity stunts that fool fans into shoveling money at a shitty product. Where is the accountability for every single person in the organization? For those who forget, here’s a reminder of what the standard once was for this franchise: If you don’t win or compete for Super Bowls, you are out of a job. And that’s not just a talking point to reference how great of an owner Mr. B was.Until the Broncos get leadership at the top and fill in the hole left by Mr. B’s absence, it’s hard to see how any of this changes. The MHR Radio Podcast is now on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify, Acast, Stitcher, TuneIn and a few other podcast hosts. Please subscribe to the one that fits your fancy, and also rate and review what you hear. ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) Shane Ray is aiming to keep both his weight and his spirits up as he heads into a fourth surgery on his troublesome left wrist.”I ain’t been getting down about it. I just need to get it fixed so I can play and be 100” percent, Ray said Tuesday after watching his team’s first minicamp practice.Ray said he’s optimistic he won’t lose as much weight or strength as he did last year, when he dropped 17 pounds and essentially played one-handed for half the season before opting for a third operation in December so that he could get a jumpstart on his offseason rehab.Ray dropped to 225 pounds last season, when he posted just 15 tackles and a single sack a year after collecting 48 tackles and eight sacks.”I’ve already gotten myself up to 247, 250” pounds, Ray said. ”I’m planning on being back in the weight room within two to three weeks. So, it’s not like I’m going to be sidelined as long as I was last year.”Ray is also switching doctors for Thursday’s operation in Houston. He hopes to return to practice by mid-August and play in the season opener against Seattle on Sept. 9.Ray broke his left wrist at the start of training camp last year when he got tangled up with offensive lineman Menelik Watson. After surgery to repair both bones and ligaments, he missed the first six games and the final two.With a jumpstart on his rehab, ”I thought I was out in the clear” by the start of the offseason program two months ago, Ray said. ”But I’d wake up every day and I’m like Royce Freeman Color Rush Jersey , `Man, my wrist is still hurting.”’The soreness didn’t subside and swelling appeared, so he sought medical advice last week when doctors discovered an unhealed, fractured bone and recommended yet another operation.”It’s frustrating but all I can do is try to keep a positive mind,” Ray said. ”I’m more anxious to just get it done and over with so I can start my healing process and get back out here with my team.”The setback is bad timing for Ray, whose fifth-year option the Broncos declined to exercise last month, denying him a $9.23 million guaranteed salary in 2019. That would have surpassed the four-year, $9.18 million rookie contract he signed in 2015 after winning SEC Defensive Player of the Year honors at Missouri.Moreover, the Broncos selected North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb with the fifth pick in this year’s draft. Chubb lined up opposite Von Miller as both a down lineman in a 4-3 scheme and stand-up rusher in the 3-4 Tuesday.Being sidelined for two to three months heading into a contract year isn’t ideal, but ”I can’t let that stress me out,” Ray said.”Of course, everybody knows this is my contract year, but most importantly, I can’t go ensure my next contract if I’m not healthy. I don’t want to go out there like I did last year and try to force something and put bad film out there and let that be the judge of who I am as a player. Because a lot of that happened,” Ray said.”With the injury, I should have sat down. I went out and played. It wasn’t good as it should have been obviously because of the injury. And I feel like a lot of people tried to use that against me. So, this time I’m going to be smart. I’m going to do the best thing for me, which is to make sure I’m 100 percent healthy. And then once I’m 100 percent healthy, I’ll be able to be out here and be the player that my coaches and my teammates know I am.”—
Posted: 12/13/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
When WR Cooper Kupp went out of the game due to a concussion Authentic Todd Gurley II Jersey , the Los Angeles Rams were already short at receiver with WR Brandin Cooks already out due to his nasty collision at the end of the second half. Rather than just stay at his position as a wideout, Woods stepped in and did his best Cooper Kupp impression, nailing inside routes like it was no big deal. Mr. Woods has always been known as an excellent route runner, but his performance on Sunday proved that he’s much more valuable than his contract suggests (which was considered to be a reach at the time!)Worst Overreaction:S Tedric Thompson should have been ejected for the Brandin Cooks hit Complaining about the refs is an age old tradition for football fans, but it’s usually saved for when their team loses. In this case, it was in defense for the LA Rams’ star wideout Authentic Jared Goff Jersey , Brandin’ Cooks, who missed the second half due to this play. I don’t think Thompson’s hit was dirty, it’s just that his speed going into the tackle made the collision violent and unfortunate for our player. There were several brutal hits during the game (and every game played on Sunday), but just because it led to Cooks lying unconscious for a moment, doesn’t mean Tedric Thompson is to blame.Turf Show Radio S10E28: Week 4 (v. MIN) recap Rob, Joey and I got in a new episode of Turf Show Radio last night.6:45: Rob explains Poldark11:20: Joey’s top 3 Oscar favorites: First Man http://www.losangelesramsteamonline.com/lamarcus-joyner-jersey , Roma, and...15:45: Actual football podcast things21:15: “That was the first time where we have really seen Jared Goff individually take over, and I think that’s a thing maybe not for now but when we look back and say, ‘This was the first time we saw Jared Goff become this kind of quarterback.’ And really, not necessarily attempt those throws but attempt and make those throws that when we see it again, it’s not as surprising. But this time Womens Cory Littleton Jersey , it was surprising because he pulled it off.”27:00: “It’s nice to be the hunted.”33:40: Rob explains the Seattle Seahawks’ magical formula of rushing attempts+completed passes>5043:55: Matt Longacre can play any position45:38: Rob’s Cooper Kupp sexytime51:48: This is now a quidditch podcast57:20: Andrew Whitworth joins the show to talk about BBQ1:02:05 “This fall, on CBS. Whitworth & Goff.”1:03:30: Bandwagon mania1:20:30: We are not going to talk about UCLA footballThe show is now on iTunes, Art19 and Spotify too.
Posted: 12/13/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Dez Bryant might want to play for the Dallas Cowboys again
 
We’re in Week 5 of the season and Dez Bryant still isn’t on an NFL roster. It’s quite the site.Dez has publicly maintained that he’s had offers and that he’s simply choosing not to be on a team right now. We saw him visit the Cleveland Browns on Hard Knocks Authentic Chris Jones Jersey , but we really haven’t heard much from him since.The all-time leader in receiving touchdowns for the Cowboys was on social media once again on Tuesday, and he was showing off videos of him working out. See below.As it often has over the last six months, Dez’s social media dabbling included interacting with some fans and revealing some information. It’s become somewhat of a norm. One fan decided to shoot their shot and outright asked Bryant who he would be signing with. It was then that things ignited across Cowboys Twitter because he said he preferred a reunion with Dallas over any other NFL team.Dez has always loved being part of the Cowboys so it makes sense that they would be his preferred destination. Could it happen? He and Jerry Jones were hanging out at a Beyonce concert recently (seriously), so anything is possible.Would you want Dez back? Why or why not? The Dallas Cowboys will travel to FedEx Field on Sunday to face the Washington Redskins in hopes of delivering a special package to Dallas fans - two victories in a row. Over the first six games, the Cowboys have alternated between wins and losses and haven’t compiled a two-game streak of anything. If this season is going to take off and mean something, this team needs to put together a little winning streak. And what better team to get a streak going than the Redskins, a team Dallas has beaten four straight times. Not only have the Cowboys swept Washington in each of the last two seasons, their offense has put on a clinic by averaging over 32 points a game during that span. It sure would be nice to see them repeat that type of offensive production Youth Terrance Williams Jersey , especially on the heels on their 40-point performance against Jacksonville. Stacking a few good games on top of each other would do wonders in restoring some faith that this Cowboys team could be on to something in 2018. Can they pull it off? Will they make enough plays to get the win? Here are five things to watch on Sunday?1. Dink and Dunk youAlex Smith has a reputation for being a game manager. He’s not the type of quarterback that is going to hurt you deep. He has a career 7.0 yards per attempt type of quarterback. So, it should be no surprise that he’s averaging 7.0 yards again this season. He likes to throw the ball underneath and let his receivers do the work.Whether the Redskins keep the chains moving or not could come down to the Cowboys ability to make open field tackles. Despite DeAndre Hopkins hitting them with the spin cycle a couple weeks ago, the Cowboys have been solid at tackling this year. The defense swarms to the ball and does a good job wrapping up. The emergence of both Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch certainly helps in this department. And their defensive backs can tackle as well.Dak Prescott has turned into a dink and dunker himself. That’s fine when the team is efficient on third downs and moving the chains, but that has not been the case this season. The Cowboys are third-worst in the league at third-down conversions, successful on just 31% of their attempts.Expect a lot of short-to-intermediate stuff from both these teams. Dallas and Washington are two of the worst teams in terms of taking deep shots (stats courtesy of NFL Matchup on ESPN) and don’t expect much to change on Sunday.2. Another tough test for ZekeEzekiel Elliott has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in three of the last four games. The lone exception was his 54-yard performance in a Week 5 loss against the Houston Texans. The game against the Texans was the first time the Cowboys had faced a top 10 run defense this season, but they will face another one on Sunday when they’ll go against the Redskins sixth-ranked run defense that has only given up 90 yards per game.Last week, the Carolina Panthers had the leagues top rushing offense, churning out 154 yards per contest. The Redskins held them to just 81 yards rushing. With a strong interior defensive line that includes their last two first-round picks http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jeff-heath-jersey , Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne, they’ve been able to plug up the running lanes.The Cowboys have a strong running attack and are ranked second in the league in rushing with 147 yards per game, but they have shown themselves to be vulnerable. The Texans shadowed Zeke all game, forcing Prescott to make plays against them. Look for Washington to take a similar approach. The Cowboys will have to find ways to be effective on offense without living and dying by the legs of their star running back.3. It’s going to be a grindThe Cowboys won’t be the only team trying to establish the run on Sunday. Dallas ranks in the top 10 in rushing attempts, running the ball 28.7 times per game. The Redskins are even better with 29 rushing attempts per game. Adrian Peterson is sixth in the NFC with 77 rushing attempts and the Redskins will lean on him to get the ground game going.Whether it’s a grind-it-out running game or a lot of short passes, Smith is really good at keeping the Redskins offense on the field. Washington is ranked third in the league in time of possession. They don’t need to beat teams with explosiveness, but just with efficiency.The Cowboy take a similar approach, which could shorten the game if both teams are grinding away the clock. This makes it imperative for Dallas to make the most of their possessions. Any turnover or squandered red zone opportunity could prove costly.4. A big play or two is all it takesNot only are these two of the weakest teams in terms of taking shots down the field Tyrone Crawford Jersey , they also happen to be two of the best defenses when it comes to limiting the big play. In fact, on a per game basis, the Cowboys are best in the league.Both these defenses are going to challenge the opposing offense to string together large volume-play drives. That’s where explosive plays can be huge in this game. They may be hard to come by, but any time a team can slip one in can be a big advantage.For the Redskins, their receivers are banged up as Jamison Crowder is dealing with an ankle injury while Paul Richardson has both knee and shoulder issues. Crowder is expected to miss a few weeks. The Redskins can still find big plays by utilizing their tight ends over the seam. Both Jordan Reed and Vernon Davis are capable of being nice weapons for Alex Smith.The Cowboys will be without Tavon Austin, who has the team’s most explosive play of the season so far. Cole Beasley had a big game last week, but look for the Redskins to try to take him away. This could be a game where Prescott looks down the field for his rookie receiver Michael Gallup.5. Home field advantage?The Cowboys have won every game so far at AT&T Stadium, but they’ve lost every game on the road. The team is hoping this trend will end this week. In 2014 Authentic Jaylon Smith Jersey , the Cowboys went a perfect 8-0 on the road so this sudden inability to win away from home is perplexing. Ezekiel Elliott points to poor communication as being the culprit for the team’s road problems.Hopefully, the Cowboys can get those things worked out so they can come out of this week with a win. While they won’t have the roar of the crowd behind them, the Redskins have been having trouble filling seats. Cowboys fans travel, so they might have a little more support than they normally would in a hostile Washington environment.These are the things I’ll be keeping an eye on. What about you?
Posted: 12/13/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
The Chicago Bears placed right guard Kyle Long on injured reserve Saturday because of a tendon injury in his right foot.
 
The move means the NFC North-leading Bears (4-3) will be without Long for at least eight weeks.The three-time Pro Bowl lineman was injured in the closing minutes of the Bears' 24-10 victory over the New York Jets last weekend. Tight end Dion Sims rolled into Long while the two were blocking for Jordan Howard on a run.Chicago visits Buffalo on Sunday. Tight end Ben Braunecker (concussion) and defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (knee) did not travel with the team Customized Chicago Bears Jerseys , and star linebacker Khalil Mack (ankle) and receiver Allen Robinson (groin) are questionable.With Long out, the Bears could move Eric Kush or rookie James Daniels from left guard, where they have shared time. Kush missed the game against the Jets because of a neck injury but is expected to play against Buffalo.Another option at right guard is Bryan Witzmann. He signed with Chicago 3 1/2 weeks ago and made 13 starts last season for Kansas City while coach Matt Nagy was the Chiefs' offensive coordinator.The 29-year-old Long made the Pro Bowl his first three seasons after being drafted in the first round in 2013. But he missed eight games in 2016 and six last season after playing in 47 of a possible 48 from 2013 to 2015.Nagy has said the latest injury was not the same as the severe one to his right ankle in 2016 that required surgery. Long also had operations on his shoulder, elbow and neck after he was shut down last year. The Chicago Bears kicked off the second half of their regular season on a high note, defeating the Detroit Lions 34-22. Though it was far from a perfect win, it was a win, and an important one at that. The Bears improved to 6-3 with a divisional victory and extended their lead in the NFC North. Here are some of my takeaways from Sunday’s action.OffenseMitchell Trubisky is not Blake Bortles.Trubisky had one of the best games of his career this week. He ended up completing 23 of his 30 passing attempts for a career-high 355 passing yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He looked poised in the pocket, comfortable and ready to strike at any moment. His footwork has looked progressively better throughout the season, which has improved his accuracy as a result. His pocket presence has also improved, as he is nuch less jittery under pressure than he was in the beginning of the year. Eight of his passes resulted in gains of 20 yards or more, which speaks to his accuracy, Matt Nagy’s confidence in his quarterback, and Chicago’s receivers’ ability to create separation. Trubisky hasn’t been perfect this season, and the fact that Patrick Mahomes, who was drafted after him in 2017, has been having an MVP-caliber season automatically makes him look like a bad pick in the eyes of those who don’t actually pay attention to the team. Despite what some particular pundits may say online, Trubisky is a good quarterback who has proven that he can lead the Bears to the playoffs, as opposed to one who has to rely on his defense to carry him there.Running the ball, the Bears were pretty ineffective. Jordan Howard picked up a nine-yard gain on the very first offensive play of the game but failed to pick up a gain that went for longer than that. Tarik Cohen had a lackluster game, as well, only gaining 15 yards on seven carries. He also caught six passes, but he only ended up with a total of 29 yards. A new-look Detroit run defense led by stud defensive tackle Damon Harrison Sr. did a number on Chicago’s ground game, but their secondary failed to slow down an electric Bears passing attack.Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller both put together their best performances of the season on Sunday. A-Rob was the dominant presence that the Bears signed him to be, catching six passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns in his return from injury. He made a phenomenal touchdown grab on a contested ball in the end zone on a 45-yard bomb, putting his size and physicality to good use. Miller has the best game of his career with five receptions, 122 yards and a touchdown. He showed off the ability to separate from cornerbacks and pick up yards after the catch that had him so highly touted coming out of Memphis. Trey Burton also caught four passes for 40 yards, and he caught a two-point conversion pass from Trubisky in the third quarter. It’s encouraging to see so many weapons in Chicago’s offense doing well this year, and the presumptive return of Adam Shaheen from injury next week should open up even more opportunities for them to get open looks.Although the Bears’ run blocking was less than ideal, they did a good job of giving Trubisky a fairly clean pocket. He was only sacked once Youth Trey Burton Jersey , and he was given several chances to deliver darts under very little pressure. Though unlikely they play that well every week in their stretch of divisional games, it was a good sign to see them successful against an underrated Detroit pass rush.DefenseThe Bears took their feet off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter, as they allowed 12 points in the span of one minute and nine seconds. Granted, a recovered onside kick gave the Lions very good field position on their second touchdown drive of the quarter, but Chicago’s defense was not fantastic late. Still, their performance in the first three quarters was nothing short of great.Khalil Mack made his triumphant return from injury on Sunday, and he came back in a way that only he could: by dominating. Despite missing the previous two weeks, he finished the game with five tackles and two sacks. His impact was definitely evident throughout the game, as he opened up opportunities for several teammates. Leonard Floyd continued his hot streak by snagging that ever-so-elusive first sack of the season. Bilal Nichols, who was limited with a knee injury, also picked up a sack and a forced fumble.Roquan Smith had another good game, picking up 10 total tackles, a sack and a pass deflection. His speed and ranginess really helps the Bears get bailed out on some plays that may otherwise blow past the second level. Danny Trevathan picked up five tackles of his own.Kyle Fuller didn’t have any pass deflections or interceptions this week, but he did a good job in coverage for the most part. Save an allowed touchdown catch by Kenny Golladay, Fuller had a solid game. Prince Amukamara wasn’t necessarily perfect, but he lit up the stat sheet with eight tackles, two pass deflections, one interception and two forced fumbles. Bryce Callahan had yet another fantastic game, tallying five tackles, two pass deflections, an interception and a sack on a nickel blitz. He should be Chicago’s top priority to bring back this offseason, as he has been one of, if not the best nickelback in the league. Both Eddie Jackson and Adrian Amos had their fair share of mistakes, but neither of them were particularly terrible. Jackson in particular showed some tenacity as a tackler and added on a pass deflection. While not an elite safety duo, they have more than serviceable for most of the year and complement each other well.Three and out3. Cody Parkey...yikes. The kicker, who was signed to a four-year, $15 million deal this past offseason, missed both of his field goal attempts and missed two of his four extra point attempts. Every single one of them hit the goalpost. Between this, Pat O’Donnell’s struggles and an inability to both defend and return kickoffs, Chicago’s special teams might just be one of their biggest weaknesses at the moment. Poor performance on the third phase could potentially cost the Bears down the line if they don’t get something figured out.2. Many have compared Trubisky to Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes Cheap Khalil Mack Jersey , the two other quarterbacks selected in the first round of the 2017 draft. Because of the latter two quarterbacks’ success on a national stage, many have forgotten about Trubisky and have considered him to be a bust. Let’s break down how each signal-caller has done so far this year.Trubisky: 9 games, 2,304 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 65.5 completion percentage, 6-3 team recordMahomes: 10 games, 3,150 passing yards, 31 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 67.0 completion percentage, 9-1 team recordWatson: 9 games, 2,389 passing yards, 17 touchdowns, 7 interceptions, 64.9 completion percentage, 6-3 team recordMahomes has easily been the best quarterback of the three, even if you take out the extra game he has played. However, Trubisky’s performance has been on par with, if not better than that of Watson, who has been praised much more often by the national media. While one can argue that Mahomes is the best quarterback of the class - which is definitely warranted with the way he has played this year - all three of them are playing at a high level and are helping their teams win. 1. The Bears take on the Vikings next week in a Sunday night matchup, and it is one that promises to be a fun one to watch. Chicago currently sits as the two-point favorites, but Minnesota could realistically come away with the win. The Vikings are 4-1 in their last five matchups, and their lone loss came against the red-hot New Orleans Saints. Their defense is playing better than the one that gave up 27 points to the Buffalo Bills, and their offense seems to be clicking quite nicely. The Bears are themselves in the midst of a hot streak, having won their last three games. Next week will surely be an entertaining battle for NFC North supremacy.
Posted: 12/13/2018 - 0 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]
Bengals Week 4 rookie report: Mark Walton finds himself on the scoresheet
 
While it wasn’t scorigami http://www.cincinnatibengalsshop.com/cheap-kevin-huber-jersey , the Bengals 37-36 win over the Falcons on Sunday was just the third time in NFL history a game ended with that score. It’s fitting that the final score wasn’t as rare as the fashion of how the Bengals won this game. The Bengals went score for score against a high-octane offense in their own stadium, and won on the final drive of the game where they converted two fourth downs. Amidst all the excitement were the five rookies that dressed and played, but only a few truly made an impact in the high-scoring contest.Jessie BatesThrough the first quarter of the season, one of Bates’ biggest perceived weaknesses has shown to be the exact opposite. He finished second to linebacker Nick Vigil in solo tackles with seven and had no missed tackles to his name. With context, none of these tackles were stops as they all occurred past the line to gain, but he ended the contest with no tackles missed, and only has one instance of that all month.Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan torched everyone in the secondary, so while it’s true that the rookie free safety didn’t make much of an impact in pass coverage, no one else did either. The whole system looked flappable against the Falcons high-powered aerial attack, and Bates was just bit too slow to react playing centerfield, though again, there wasn’t much he could do against a nearly flawless game plan from the opposition. The expectations bestowed upon Bates were high entering this season and it’s fair to see he’s on track for meeting them. He’s not exactly been what Derwin James has been for the Chargers, but they’re playing vastly different roles. Bates has held his own and has been anything but a liability. The secondary as a unit may need a re-evaluation following this narrow win, but Bates is on the right path.Sam HubbardWith only three defensive tackles active for the game, and one of them being Josh Tupou, Hubbard was forced onto the field early in the rotation on the interior even on base downs. With defensive end Michael Johnson back Bengals Jessie Bates III Jersey , Hubbard actually played more inside than he did on the edge.As a result, Hubbard struggled on and off when dealing with down blocks in run defense, and made minimal impact as a pass rusher. Aside from his active game against Baltimore in Week 2, Hubbard’s splash plays have been far and few between. Hopefully the team has newly acquired Adolphus Washington activated next week so Hubbard can keep to the edge in run defense, because he is a fine edge-setter. However, we need to see a jump in pass rushing efficiency on third down from the rookie when he’s at his under tackle alignment.Malik JeffersonDuring last week’s Orange and Black Insider, we discussed the possibility of Jefferson getting integrated in the defense for this week. With MIKE linebacker Preston Brown back on the field, Jefferson was once again regulated to just special teams while the five other active linebackers all saw time on the field for the defense (including Vincent Rey’s one snap).As we all know, WILL linebacker Vontaze Burfict is set to return to the team this week as his four-game suspension has ended. Burfict will likely just replace tight end Tyler Eifert on the roster when the team puts Eifert on the injured reserve list for his season-ending ankle injury, so all linebackers, including Jefferson, should remain on the roster. Burfict’s return can’t diminish Jefferson’s current role because he’s just a special teamer, but unless a situation like last year happens where a multitude of injuries at the linebacker position pile up, Jefferson isn’t seeing the field on defense anytime soon. Mark WaltonThe Bengals once again had just Walton available behind Giovani Bernard at running back for the second week in a row with Joe Mixon sidelined with his knee injury. Unlike last week though, Walton actually had some touches to write home about in his time on the field. He finished with just nine rushing yards on five carries, and 28 receiving yards on two receptions. Most of those yards came on this impressive catch and run. The blocking for Walton up front mirrored that of the preseason when he averaged less than one yard per carry Bengals Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , but with how Bernard was running the ball, his production on the ground was marginal. The real bad news for Walton was him being evaluated for a concussion after he took a head-to-head hit late in the third quarter, which was called for unnecessary roughness on Atlanta. The collision put Walton into the concussion protocol and out of action for a bit, forcing Bernard to take more snaps than planned.Fortunately, Walton soon returned and partook in the final two offensive drives that resulted in 9 points. Whether his evaluation for a concussion was just precautionary or not, the last thing the Bengals needed was another injury at the running back position. Next week’s game against the Dolphins could very well be when Mixon returns to the field, which would diminish Walton’s opportunities going forward. The offense will be better for it, and now Walton has some experience to build off of. Darius PhillipsLost in the madness that was Sunday’s game was cornerback William Jackson leaving the game temporarily for an injury right before the end of the third quarter. This shifted slot cornerback Darqueze Dennard to Jackson’s spot on the outside, and inserted Tony McRae into Dennard’s spot inside. It was the third game this season McRae played on defense, and Phillips has yet to see anything beyond special teams. He only took six snaps on special teams, and saw Alex Erickson take all the reps at both kickoff and punt returner. He did make a touchdown-saving tackle on his first special teams snap, and tackled Atlanta’s kickoff return man Marvin Hall at midfield before he could run back the opening kickoff for six points.Did not playBilly PriceAuden TateBates and Hubbard are not amongst the liabilities that have contributed to one of the worst scoring defenses in the league. Their play through the first four games has been about as good as we could expect from them playing significant snaps in their first handful of games. And just adding Jefferson to the mix won’t make much of a difference like adding Burfict back will.As of now, we don’t know if next Sunday will be the game Price returns, but we should probably expect him to takeover for Trey Hopkins at center. While it may yield better results if Price were to just replace Alex Redmond at right guard, that would be uncharacteristic of the team to do, especially when they declared they were focused on Price at center only right after they drafted him. But the Bengals winning a game like this one is also pretty abnormal. We’ll just have to wait and see what else they may surprise us with.Preston Brown iffy for Bengals vs. Ravens The Bengals have a major injury concern ahead of their Week 2 matchup with the Ravens.According to Bengals.com Youth Andy Dalton Jersey , starting linebacker Preston Brown is iffy for Thursday due to an ankle injury. Later on Monday, Marvin Lewis did what Marvin Lewis always does and used weather updates as references for injury news: That would seem to be a good indicator that Brown is more likely to play than not on Thursday, but with Lewis, you just never know. Brown suffered a right ankle injury late in the first half of the Bengals’ Week 1 win over the Colts, but he returned in the second half. When he did get injured, it led to Hardy Nickerson playing more the rest of the game instead of Vincent Rey, who missed most of the preseason with an ankle injury.Defensive coordinator Teryl Austin actually spoke briefly about the next man up if Brown is out when the Ravens come to Paul Brown Stadium, “I think Hardy (Nickerson) was more ready to go in for this game, and we’ll see how it shakes out this week if one of those guys has to play, who will be ahead of the other,” Austin said of Nickerson and Rey on who would replace Brown. I would venture to guess we’ll see plenty of Rey and Nickerson on Thursday if Brown is out, which would be really bad news against a strong Ravens running game. Brown was key in Sunday’s win at Indy, recording an interception, five tackles and a pass deflection.