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  1. Aaron Rodgers would fix everything. It could have been the title of the Packers 2018 offseason , or the headline for the last five years of the organization’s team-building philosophy under Ted Thompson. When a collarbone injury spoiled a promising start for Green Bay in 2017, Brett Hundley and Co. managed just enough wins to keep the Packers in the playoff hunt for Rodgers’ way-too-soon return. Mike McCarthy finally, mercifully, made a change at defensive coordinator, bringing in the pedigreed Mike Pettine to replace the anachronistic Dom Capers. Mark Murphy slid Thompson a step closer to retirement, installing Brian Gutekunst as general manger, and all was right in the world. Or so many thought. An organizational shakeup, a gut check season, and the return of the best football player on God’s green (and gold) earth would bring this team back to Titletown glory. Until it didn’t. An injury in Week 1 to Rodgers robbed him of his ability to move, improvise and break down defenses, exposing the lack of creativity long prevalent in McCarthy’s offense. Injuries to Geronimo Allison and Randall Cobb proved just how valuable Jordy Nelson was to this offense even if he had lost a step or three. And despite improvements to defensive personnel, injuries tore through that side of the ball, undercutting any strides made by Gutekunst in using the draft and free agency (quelle surprise) in the spring. If winning is a habit, so is complacency. The last two seasons in Green Bay proved how deeply rooted that little monster became.The Packers haven’t used a top-100 draft pick on a skill position player since Davante Adams in 2014. Their idea of solidifying the offensive line was to show T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton the door with no obvious replacements , and while Lane Taylor has emerged as a solid guard, the right side remains an utter black hole. What’s more, McCarthy proved either incapable of unwilling to make changes to his offense to the point he lost his team. Watching the Packers this season, I kept going back to something Robert Mays wrote for the Ringer in early fall: The last line perfectly encapsulates the 2018 season. The Packers haven’t been keeping pace, not schematically, not philosophically, and not culturally. Draft-and-develop works when you’re hitting on picks, but Thompson missed myriad opportunities to improve this team on the margins with mid-level and lever lower-level free agents. McCarthy’s schematic stagnation has been well-documented and it’s clear the players on the team no longer trusted him to design and call an offense. And while the rest of the league was pouring resources into edge rushers, the Packer shrugged and walked away whistling with their hands in their pockets. Rodgers himself must also stand tall to face the slings and arrows here as well. There’s an old saying in the NFL that a great quarterback never gets a coach fired. Rodgers may not have openly attempted to get McCarthy fired, but his subversion of the head coach, flatly dismissing playcalls, and inconsistent play helped torpedo him just the same. The quarterback we saw in 2014 has only been seen for brief glimpses since then thanks to a mixture of lack of confidence in the offense and lack of discipline within it. The time for dick measuring is over; the quarterback won. Now go play like the MVP and best player in the game again. After this season, it should be clear Rodgers needed this reset as much as anyone. When your quarterback is openly admitting on ESPN to being bored in practice, the writing should have been on the wall. McCarthy no longer engaged him Authentic Kevin King Jersey , challenged him, coached him. Matt Nagy is always on the sidelines talking to Mitch Trubisky while the Bears defense was on the field. When was the last time we saw McCarthy do that? He needs someone to get him re-focused, re-engaged, and back playing more rhythm football than backyard football. Rodgers knows what’s being said about him — the whispers about his undermining of McCarthy, the questions about his leadership. It’s not a coincidence he insisted on playing the final two weeks of the season despite myriad injuries in order to show just what kind of leader he is. In Week 16 in the comeback against the Jets, he reminded the fans, the team and the organization about why he is such a special player. A player famous for carrying slights with him, there’s no doubt Rodgers will shoulder the takes, the criticisms and the doubters.In a post-Run the Table world, coming off a 2017 where it was clear how badly the Packers needed Rodgers, a season in which Rodgers finally had to admit he needed some help too could return the equilibrium to this team. The failures of 2018 started much sooner and are structural, institutional shortcomings stemming from the Ted Thompson era and a spoiling through success. The collapse of that culture, both good and bad, come as a necessary reckoning for a team on the precipice. In all likelihood , the Packers are due for a wandering in the wilderness period in a post-Rodgers world. Teams don’t luck into HOF quarterbacks twice, much less three times. Mark Murphy and Brian Gutekunst have to get this right in order to maximize what is left of Rodgers’ prime before the metaphoric winter comes. It’s up to them to decide if these two seasons signal the beginning of the end, or demarcate a momentous change in course toward recapturing success. Each year, the NFL releases a ten-part weekly series counting down the Top 100 players in the league, as voted on by their peers. That usually comes out in the late spring to help bridge the gap between the NFL Draft and the start of training camps.Pro Football Focus, however, is publishing their list of the Top 101 players in the 2018 season this week. Although the Green Bay Packers did not land a player between 50 and 101, in the third installment — players 26 through 50 — the team is well-represented. Four Packers showed up in that grouping, including three members of the offense. Let’s look at them one-by-one.#48: Wide receiver Davante AdamsWe’ll have to wait to see how many receivers rank ahead of Davante, but he was unquestionably one of the best wideouts in the NFL this year. He finished the season sixth in receptions, seventh in receiving yards, and second in touchdowns, and he would have been higher in at least the first two categories had he not sat out week 17’s game with a knee injury. Although his DVOA numbers don’t match up to his lofty PFF grade (87.8) or raw stats, much of that is likely due to Mike McCarthy’s scheme doing him no favors.#43: Defensive tackle Kenny ClarkLast year: 69thThe monster in the middle of the Packers’ defense , Clark was more than deserving of a Pro Bowl honor in 2018, though he was denied. In 13 games, he racked up six sacks and provided far more pass rush than one would expect from a traditional 3-4 nose tackle. In fact, PFF credited him with a pass-rush grade of 88.8 on the year, while also noting that he ranked 16th among interior linemen in run stop rate (9.9%).#41: Quarterback Aaron RodgersPFF gave Rodgers the sixth-highest grade of any quarterback in the NFL this season, and had him ranked third in passer rating when throwing the ball 20 yards or more downfield. We all know that what we saw from Rodgers in 2018 was less than stellar, but his yards per completion number finally climbed back near 12 (11.9, to be exact), the first time it has been above 11.0 since his last MVP season in 2014.#39: Left tackle David BakhtiariLast year: 30thTwo spots ahead of Rodgers is the man named the best pass-protector in the league by PFF. They credited him with allowing just 25 pressures in 16 games, only seven of which resulted in hits on Rodgers.The Packers’ four best players all showed up on the second-to-last portion of this list, so don’t expect any more members of the Green and Gold to appear in the Top 25. The 2017 team also failed to place anyone in the top 25, with Bakhtiari’s #30 ranking being the top spot held by a Green Bay player. Hopefully they won’t be shut out of that upper section for a third year in a row in 2019.
  2. OverviewOn October 21 Youth Anthony Walker Jersey , 2018 the Indianapolis Colts will host the Buffalo Bills In this week seven match-up I sought to understand our opponent and get a better idea of how they may attack our new look offense.The 2017 Bills went to the playoffs for the first time since the Clinton administration. They went 9-7 in what was their fifth winning season in the past two decades. The last time these two teams played it be came an all time favorite game for me. Both teams battled through what looked like a foot of snow to try to play football at its highest level. The Bills came out on top in a close, fun to watch game but this year the game will be played indoors so hopefully there will be a different result.Let’s figure out what we can expect in week seven.Kicker:Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty ImagesSteven Hauschka is a career 87% field goal kicker. He isn’t on anyone’s list to go to the hall of fame but he’s been a consistently good kicker for a long time in the NFL. He started his career as poorly as possible in Baltimore but really turned it around once he arrived in Seattle. If this game comes down to a battle of field goals, I have no doubt I will be worried about Hauschka. He is more than good enough to trot out for a game winner, hopefully it doesn’t come to that. Punter:Photo by Rob Carr/Getty ImagesLast season the Bills employed a one Mr. Colton Schmidt for their punting duties. In my report on the Bills special teams last season I called Schmidt a good but not great punter and in what was a surreal moment for me, Mr. Schmidt’s agent took exception to my description of him and sent me an email explaining why his client was better than I was giving him credit for. This season Colton Schmidt is unemployed and the Bills have brought in Corey Bojorquez. In Schmidt’s (and his agent’s) defense, his net yards per punt average was nearly a yard higher in 2017 than the rookie’s has been so far this year. So I guess you could say Bojorquez is also a good but not great punter.Returner:Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesRay-Ray McCloud is the name you need to know in the return game. I say that not because he’s their best returner nor has he returned the most kicks for the Bills this season. I say that because he’s the only healthy returner on the team and I have no idea if Marcus Murphy or Taiwan Jones will be able to play in this one. McCloud is averaging 5 yards per punt return and has 18 yards on his lone kick return this season. McCloud hasn’t shown enough to be concerned at this point.Final Thoughts for The Week:The Bills have an impressive defense and a very unimpressive offense but that could change. The Bills have announced Derek Anderson will be their starting quarterback on Sunday. Normally I would be confident in the Colts chances against a team starting a guy at quarterback they signed off the street a week ago, but for some reason I think Anderson could come out and play well. Forcing the new guy to make mistakes will go a long way to securing the win. If the Colts can get off the field on any of the dozens of 3rd down’s they create, they should have a very good chances in this one. PredictionColts 24Bills 17Draft WatchIt is with absolutely no joy I am bringing back my Draft Watch segment. Draft Watch is the silver lining to a bad season and that’s exactly what our Colts are in the middle of. Even if the team gets hot Womens Nate Hairston Jersey , even if everyone is suddenly healthy, even if they rattle off 3-4 wins in a row, realistically I don’t see any way the Colts will have a first round draft pick past 15th overall in the 2019 NFL draft.As of right now the Colts have a one and five record we’ll take a look at the other 4 teams and how they may do in their week seven games:New York Giants- The Giants will be playing a 2-4 Falcons team on Monday Night Football. I do expect the Giants to fall to 1-6 on the season after this game. San Francisco 49ers- The 49ers will take on the 6-0 Rams. I don’t believe this game will end up being much of a contest. The 9ers will drop to 1-6. Arizona Cardinals- The Cards will host the Denver Broncos tonight on Thursday Night Football. The Cardinals haven’t been good and Von Miller seems to think the Broncos are going to win but the Cardinals do have the home field on a Thursday night game. This could go either way but I expect that the Cardinals will get a win and go to 2-5 on the season. Oakland Raiders- The Raiders are on a bye this week so they can’t possibly lose on Sunday. Gruden’s best week since returning to coaching.If all of the above happens the way I expect it to (with a Colts win) it looks like the Colts will be drafting somewhere between 4 and 6 after this weekend. If you’re interested in seeing a little more about the current 2019 NFL draft order you should check out Tankathon. An off-the-air racial slur prompted the immediate retirement of longtime Indianapolis Colts radio voice Bob Lamey last weekend, team officials and Lamey's attorney confirmed Wednesday.Local attorney James Voyles issued a statement acknowledging the 80-year-old Lamey used "inappropriate" language during a conversation with a friend at a local radio station and apologized immediately."Bob does want to acknowledge that while repeating a story while off-the-air last week to a friend at a local radio station, he used an inappropriate word that had been used in the story," Voyles' statement read. "Bob immediately apologized to the people involved for the comment and would hope that this error in judgment would not tarnish his long-held reputation in the sports community where he has been known as an accurate and passionate reporter."A report on a local television's station website, WTHR, claimed an employee at Emmis Communications heard the comment and reported it to the radio station's human resources department , which then contacted the Colts.It's not the first time Lamey's words have caused controversy. But what happened last week the Colts found intolerable. The announcement of Lamey's retirement after 31 years with the Colts came Sunday.He was replaced on Monday night's radio broadcast by Matt Taylor.Initially, the Colts attempted to paint his departure as the celebration of a Hall of Fame broadcasting career that spanned five decades. But after word leaked about the conversation and Voyles issued his public statement Wednesday morning, the Colts immediately took a different tack."In regards to Bob Lamey ... first and foremost, the Colts deplore and do not tolerate the use of any racial slur — in any context," Colts chief operating officer Pete Ward wrote in an email. "Bob has had a long and storied history in our community, but he made a serious mistake. The Colts are deeply disappointed the incident took place and offer our sincerest regrets to all who were impacted by Bob's lapse in judgment."Ward went on to say that the Colts only decided to comment after Lamey made his account.Previously, there had been praise for Lamey as his retirement was announced on the weekend."Bob Lamey is a legend and icon," Colts owner Jim Irsay said in Sunday's release. "(His) name is synonymous with Indianapolis Colts football."Former players weighed in , too, as Lamey said simply "it's time" to retire.Players such as former punter Pat McAfee and right tackle Ryan Diem immediately weighed in on Twitter to praise Lamey. Reggie Wayne, the Colts' second-leading receiver all-time, told local news station Fox 59 that Lamey was "the absolute best."Lamey's previous outbursts included use of an expletive during a broadcast at the end of a Colts loss to the San Diego Chargers in September 2016. The next day he apologized to fans on the air and asked for their forgiveness.He came close to uttering the same word during Indy's come-from-behind win over New England in the 2006 AFC championship game after running back Dominic Rhodes lost the ball near the goal line."He fumbled the freakin' football," Lamey said before realizing teammate Jeff Saturday recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.There was another off-the-air outburst in December 2010 when Peyton Manning threw four interceptions in a loss to Dallas. Lamey privately questioned whether the NFL had "figured out" Manning and contemplated whether he should be benched in favor of backup Curtis Painter.But his most recent comments were too much for the Colts."Bob publicly acknowledged that last week he repeated an inappropriate word when telling a story," Ward wrote. "He immediately apologized to the people who heard him use the word, and then promptly retired as the Colts play-by-play announcer."Lamey served in that capacity for 31 seasons, from 1984-91 and again from 1995-2017 and was a fixture on local airwaves since the mid-1970s.He broadcast games for the city's hockey team , the WHA's Racers, from 1974-77 — finishing those duties just before Wayne Gretzky joined the team. He served as the play-by-play man for the Indiana Pacers from 1977-84, and he also was part of the Indianapolis 500's radio broadcast team for years.For 23 years, Lamey served as the sports director for WIBC radio, and in 2008, Lamey was inducted into the Indiana Sports Broadcasters and Writers Hall of Fame in 2008.Taylor, who has done sideline and studio work for the team, had taken over as the Colts' play-by-play voice on the preseason broadcasts. Greg Rakestraw , another local radio announcer, will replace Taylor in the television booth.
  3. KANSAS CITY Authentic Mitch Morse Jersey , Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs will have 10 days to stew over Mike Williams’ touchdown catch, Philip Rivers‘ wave as he trotted off the field and the golden opportunity they let slip away Thursday night.They had led the Los Angeles Chargers nearly wire-to-wire, taking an early 14-0 lead and looking every bit the dominant team in the AFC West. And they still led into the fourth quarter, victory seemingly certain along with all the trappings that would come with it — clinching the division with two games to go, a first-round playoff bye and perhaps homefield advantage throughout with a little bit of help.Then their defense failed to make a couple of crucial stops. Their offense failed to pick up a first down when it mattered most. The Chargers made every play to escape with a 29-28 victory.“It’s tough. Mentally, it’s very tough,” Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones said afterward. “We have to come back and bounce back. We have to prepare for Seattle at their place. Understand what you did wrong and watch film and let’s make some corrections and bring it.”There are plenty of things for Kansas City to correct.The Chiefs were penalized 10 times for 66 yards, five of them giving Los Angeles a first down. They failed to capitalize on two turnovers by Rivers, allowed the Chargers to convert 60 percent of their third downs and blew crucial assignments when they had a chance to put the game away.The two biggest came on the final drive of the game.After cornerback Kendall Fuller was called for pass interference — a debatable call given the pass appeared to be well out of reach — the Chargers had the ball at the Kansas City 1. Rivers floated a pass toward Williams along the sideline, and he outleaped Orlando Scandrick to haul it in.Then, after coach Anthony Lynn sent his offense back onto the field, the Chiefs blew the coverage on Williams so emphatically that nobody was within 10 yards of him on the 2-point conversion.Game over.Let the stewing begin.“Just miscommunication,” Fuller said of the conversion play. “We just got to cover our pieces at the end of the day. That’s something we have to work on, prepare for and get better.”All is not lost for Kansas City. The Chargers may have forged a tie atop the division at 11-3, and have not split the season series, but the Chiefs hold the tiebreaker by virtue of their superior record in the division. They also maintain an inside track on homefield advantage, though their trip to Seattle and their home game against Oakland have taken on much more meaning.The Chiefs could have used those weeks to heal up for the playoffs. Now, they’ll visit a hot team in the Seahawks with much on the line before returning home to face another division rival.“Everybody feels that feeling, they want to get back out there tomorrow,” Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “So we’re going to have a long 10 days. Then we’re going to Seattle, which is a tough place to play, and they’re playing really good football right now. So we’re just going to recuperate , see what we did well and see what we didn’t do so well and find ways to use this as fuel.”The opportunity to recuperate may be what Kansas City needs most.Strong safety Eric Berry made his season debut after dealing with a heel injury since training camp, and he’ll have time to receive treatment before trying to play more against the Seahawks.The Chiefs are hopeful they’ll get some of their offensive stars back. Running back Spencer Ware was out Thursday night with a hamstring injury, wide receiver Sammy Watkins missed his third game with a foot injury and offensive lineman Cam Erving was sidelined with a knee injury.“So what do we do? We get back on it,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “You have to be resilient. That’s what you do, you learn from your mistakes. That’s real. Then you become a better team and get yourself ready to go play Seattle and that’s what we will do.”Kansas City Chiefs defensive trends and tabulation for Week 4 Ladies and gentlemen, a big hand for your 25th ranked (in points per game) Kansas City Chiefs!OK, so that’s supremely excessive for the worst defense in the league in yards, yards per rush and first downs per game. It also ranks near the bottom in passing yards per game, yards per play and basically anything that isn’t third-down percentage (1st in the league) or sacks (12th in the league).It was a better performance this week against the Denver Broncos on the surface, with yards and points at their lowest marks of the season, and the Chiefs found a little more pressure on the quarterback. However, missed tackles and blown coverages continued, with the addition of some miserable run defense to the tune of 7.2 yards per carry.Basically, they’re still bad.Fortunately, for Arrowhead Pride readers, I sat down and charted this week’s game to get all the numbers for you so you can see where the Chiefs were bad, worse and slightly OK throughout this week’s 60 snaps.The numbersThe Chiefs lined up in their base 3-4 formation 16.6 percent of the time, typically against the Broncos 12, 21 and 22 personnel. In those snaps, the opposition gained a staggering 9.86 yards per play and 7.78 yards per carry. Quite simply, the “run-stopping” defense didn’t stop the run.The Chiefs lined up in their nickel defense with two down linemen and four linebackers 41.6 percent of the time, making it their preferred formation once again. They allowed a not-too-shabby 4.43 yards per play out of this formation.The Chiefs showed their dime defense 16.6 percent of the snaps this week. On those snaps Authentic Chris Conley Jersey , the Broncos gained 5.41 yards per play.The Chiefs dropped an outside linebacker on 39.5 percent of the snaps in Week 4. That’s higher than usual this season, and once again, the vast majority of them came out of the 3-4 defense. Those plays gave up an abysmal 10.53 yards per play, and on average, the quarterback threw the ball in 2.08 seconds. Needless to say, dropping the outside linebackers didn’t give quarterback Case Keenum much pause this week.The Chiefs sent extra rushers 23.7 percent of the time. That’s the season record thus far for Sutton’s defense! Those plays gave up 7.88 yards per play and the quarterback got rid of the ball in 2.28 seconds, on average. The Chiefs showed pressure, brought a rusher from the second level while dropping another rusher, ran a stunt or blitzed on 42.1 percent of the snaps, which is ridiculously high for a Bob Sutton defense.The Chiefs rushed three players on THREE SNAPS. After a week with only a single three-man rush, Sutton dialed up a total of three this week. Those resulted in an average of 8.66 yards per play and an average time to throw of 1.92 seconds. Clearly, flooding the secondary with extra bodies or from abnormal areas was not effective this week.The Chiefs rushed four players on 68.4 percent of the passing snaps. Those snaps resulted in a reasonable 5.19 yards per play and an average time to throw of 2.35 seconds.The Chiefs were in man coverage on 73.7 percent of the passing snaps. Those snaps resulted in 7.51 yards per play and an average time to throw of 2.20 seconds. After a zone-heavy Week 3, the Chiefs reverted back to more of a man-coverage scheme this week. They played press-man coverage 60.4 percent of the time with their corners and slot safeties. That’s the lowest press percentage of the season for the Chiefs defense.The Chiefs were in zone coverage 26.3 percent of the passing snaps. Those snaps resulted in a stellar 2.1 yards per play and an average time to throw of 2.55 seconds. Even though some coverages were blown that weren’t capitalized upon this week, this number would still have been trending downward form week to week.The average time to throw this week was 2.30 seconds. When the Chiefs forced the throw under 2.5 seconds (21 plays), they allowed 6.55 yards per play. When the throw took longer than 2.5 seconds (13 plays), they allowed 8.61 yards per play. Keenum got the ball out of his hands especially quick this week trying to avoid the Chiefs rush.Something goodI’ve spent this first quarter of this season detailing how poor the Chiefs secondary has been in passing players and executing their zone responsibilities. So when I found an opportunity to highlight a good play out of the Chiefs Cover 3, I took the opportunity.Here, the Chiefs are in a Cover 3 Buzz look, with Eric Murray spinning down as the weak-side hook defender. Kendall Fuller has the underneath boundary zone as the strong-side apex defender, and Orlando Scandrick has the deep boundary third behind him.Denver runs an out route, targeting the seam between the Fuller/Scandrick zones. Fuller gets good zone depth and takes away the quick throwing lane while still keeping an eye on the running back in the flat. This forces Keenum to have to loft the ball over Fuller, and that air underneath the ball allows Scandrick to get a good break on the ball and knock it away.When most think of present-day Sutton Womens Terrance Smith Jersey , they don’t think of especially risky pass rush plans. This week, with a higher blitz percentage, we got to see some more adventurous blitzes and the blitz shown above is definitely one of them.After a fourth-and-1 conversion late in the first half, the Chiefs found themselves backed up against their own end zone. The Broncos had one timeout remaining with 48 seconds left in the half. Sutton made a gutsy call to send six rushers and run a Cover Zero shell, meaning there’s no safety deep to keep a lid on the defense when the Broncos go empty. Each member of the secondary is man to man with a skill position player.Due to this gamble, the cornerbacks are lined up in off-man coverage. This makes sure they keep all the routes in front of them, because the ball is likely coming out quickly with the extra pass rushers. Keenum calls an audible and calls a bubble screen to beat the blitz, which it does. This is a positive outcome for the Chiefs defense.By forcing the bubble screen audible, the Chiefs are able to close quickly on the receiver and tackle him in bounds, wasting both a down and forcing the Broncos to use their final timeout. This limits the number of plays the Broncos can run in their remaining downs before the half without that extra timeout.By forcing the issue, Sutton gave the Chiefs one of two outcomes if it’s not an incompletion: stopping the play in bounds for a short/no gain or getting home with the blitz. Either way, Denver has to burn its final timeout. The Chiefs defense held to a red-zone field goal right before half, and this play was a key ingredient in that outcome.Something badThere was plenty of blown coverage this week, but the Chiefs defense was by far at its worst against the run. The Broncos especially targeted Ron Parker as a box safety in the run on Monday.It’s first and goal on the above play, and Denver recognizes Parker in the box, up on the line. They motion Demaryius Thomas over Parker, and off the snap, Thomas blows the gap wide open, putting Parker on his back.Elsewhere, Anthony Hitchens shoots the A gap off Allen Bailey’s inside shoulder. The guard/tackle combo block stalls Bailey initially, and the guard pulls back to knocks Hitchens to the ground. The tackle has leverage on Bailey, and is able to move him easily out of the gap.The Broncos routinely moved Chiefs defenders well out of the play and got to the second level often Womens Reggie Ragland Jersey , taking out the second and third-level run defenders. Denver completely bossed the Chiefs front all game long and when the Chiefs defenders did get some push, well......the Chiefs couldn’t tackle.At all levels, the Chiefs routinely find themselves in good positions to make a play, yet can’t bring down the ballcarrier due to poor tackling. Above, Bailey does great work to read the play, shed the blocker and attacks running back Royce Freeman in the gap. He hits Freeman square, but doesn’t wrap up and Freeman is able to run away into the second level. Parker misses a tackle coming up in support, and what should be a tackle for no gain or a short gain instead results in a chunk play setting up the Broncos for a second and short yardage.Something you may have missedIt wasn’t all awful in the run game this week. Here’s a fantastic play you might have missed from safety Eric Murray. After a tight end motions inside, Murray crashes down to become the force defender and blows up the fullback, forcing the running back to cut back into the defense, where Reggie Ragland has stacked a pulling guard, and Dee Ford is able to track down in pursuit to make the tackle.Murray gets no stat for this, but good film study tipped him off on this play and he was able to completely blow it up so the running back couldn’t reach the edge. Murray had a solid day in run support and a good day in coverage. This kind of dirty work is indicative of the types of things some may miss out of Murray on a week-to-week basis.The bottom lineIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY SportsWe’re not a quarter of the way through the season, and the conclusion has been basically the same: this is a bad defense.They’re not executing, still missing tackles and blowing coverage right and left. I’ve heard claims against Sutton’s scheme, but the execution is so poor that it’s hard to even begin to see the scheme.Quite simply, they need to hit the “reset” button on this defense. Start brand new this week, wipe away the first quarter of the season, and pretend it’s the start of the season all over again. These are basic mental mistakes that every single one of these players are capable of cleaning up.Luckily, the Chiefs offense is buying this defense time to figure out their side of the ball and correct these very correctable mistakes. With two very important games in the next two weeks, let’s hope the defense can start climbing out of the basement of the NFL.
  4. Chicago Bears Sackwatch 2018: Week 3 vs. the Arizona Cardinals Through 3 games Youth Jordan Howard Jersey , Chicago Bears’ quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has been sacked 8% of the time. Last year that number ended up at 8.6%, so we’re not seeing the type of improvement we often see in a QBs second season. But it’s still early in the new offense, and head coach Matt Nagy has talked about patience since he took over. Trubisky has taken some baby-steps from week to week, but with other young quarterbacks playing so well, many of us fans want him to be good right now. The growth of a young quarterback is different from case to case, and there is no sure fire way to unlock their potential.It’s fair to say that Trubisky hasn’t settled into a comfort zone this year quite yet, because he is missing open receivers, taking some sacks he shouldn’t, and misreading some looks, but that’s all a part of the growing pains. Pocket awareness will come with understanding of the offense. Sackwatch after 3 games2010 - 8 (Martz)2011 - 14 (Martz)2012 - 11 (Tice)2013 - 3 (Trestman)2014 - 7 (Trestman)2015 - 6 (Gase)2016 - 9 (Loggains)2017 - 7 (Loggains)2018 - 9 (Nagy)Sack 7 - First Quarter 5:44 - Bene’ Benwikere and Budda BakerThis was a 3rd and 6, and the Bears pass protection was overwhelmed by the Arizona blitz. They simply brought more than the Bears could block— while occupying both offensive tackles — then sending an extra blitzer off each edge. Watching it live, I just chalked it up to the Cardinals having a good play on (Sacks Happen), but on the replay it looked like Trubisky had Tarik Cohen in the left flat. I’m also not a fan of the routes run by both Trey Burton (TE to the left) and Taylor Gabriel (slot to the right). With the two defensive backs blitzing, an adjustment by them could have given Trubisky another outlet. This is something that requires QB and receivers to be on the same page, and it comes with time in the offense, so hopefully we see it some day. But for this specific play Youth Khalil Mack Jersey , this is a blitz that Trubisky should have recognized and he should have hit Cohen immediately. Cohen recognized the blitz, as evidenced by him quickly getting his head around, but the pass never came. This one in on the QB.Sack 8 - First Quarter 1:53 - Robert NkemdicheThe Cardinals ran a tackle-end stunt (TEX) against the Bears’ on both sides in an attempt to get the blitzing defensive backs a free rush off the edge. The Bears played it good on the left side with left tackle Charles Leno Jr. taking the defensive tackle that was in the B-Gap after right guard Eric Kush passed him off. Kush accepted the looping defensive end, and running back Jordan Howard stayed home to get the blitzing DB. Kush turned his shoulders a little too much, opening a path for the DE to slip to his inside, but a good strong push nudged him out of the play.On the right side, right tackle Bobby Massie fanned out to the DB, right guard Kyle Long stayed with DT Robert Nkemdiche (#90), and center Cody Whitehair was ready for the stunting DE. Massie did great, but Whitehair lost his balance and fell, and Long allowed too much penetration which let Nkemdiche slap the ball out of Trubisky’s hands. Long should have tapped into his tackle skills and kick-stepped his way to cut off the rush, but instead he was out in front of his feet too much and he got caught lunging. This one is on Long. Sack 9 - Third Quarter 13:45 - Chandler JonesJones is one of the better pass rushers in the league today, and he made an impact in this game with a deflected pass that led to a pick, and this sack. Leno plays it pretty good initially, but Jones just keeps working around until he gets home for the sack. Leno’s punch didn’t slow or redirect the rush at all, and Jones just beat him around the edge. Leno did keep him at bay for more than 3 seconds Womens Prince Amukamara Jersey , which should be enough time to get a pass off, but with Arizona dropping seven in coverage, Trubisky didn’t feel comfortable letting it rip. I’ll give this one to Leno, but I’m not happy about it. EDIT: After weighing it back and forth a bit, and putting a stopwatch on the play, I’m letting Leno off the hook (I told you I wasn’t happy about it). When you watch the two clips back to back you get a better picture of what Trubisky was looking at. In the second clip you see him shoot a glance to the left, where Trey Burton was running in the flat. That may have been short of the sticks, but it was the right read, and you have to let your playmaker make a play. A catch and a well timed stiff-arm may have gotten the job done. Individual Sackwatch after week 3:Mitchell Trubisky - 4.5Sacks Happen - 2Kyle Long - 1Dion Sims - .5Charles Leno - .5Erik Kush - .5 Sunday could prove to be a turning point for the Chicago Bears season.A winnable game against an inferior opponent, at home, a rookie quarterback, on the road. If the Bears want to be the team that fans are expecting them to be, that they can and should be, then they should take care of business Sunday.However, things are never that simple, especially when it comes to the Bears , right?The New York Jets appear to be a rudderless, banged up team with a struggling rookie quarterback and missing key players. But the Bears also couldn’t beat Brock Osweiler on the road two weeks ago and a defense that had 18 sacks and was giving up barely a couple touchdowns a game suddenly has surrendered 69 points in their last two games.This is a different opponent, a different week, but will the results be the same infuriating thing we’ve seen the last two weeks or a return to what we want form to be?New York JetsSB Nation site: Gang Green NationGame Day/Time/TV: Sunday, noon CST, CBSRecord: 3-4Last week: 37-17 loss to the Vikings at MetLifeBears all-time record against: 8-3Historical match ups: There isn’t a lot of history between these teams, such is the way it is when neither team has a ton of recent playoff experience and the two conferences never really played each other before realignment.So let’s look at the 2006 game, which was a week 11 meeting.The 0-0 halftime tie was broken by a Robbie Gould field goal in the third quarter and then a 57-yard Rex Grossman to Mark Bradley at the start of the fourth was enough to seal a 10-0 shutout.Chad Pennington threw interceptions to Nathan Vasher and Brian Urlacher.Last meeting: A 27-19 week 3 victory in 2014.The Bears jumped out early to a 7-0 lead on a Ryan Mundy pick six off Geno Smith on the second play of the game. Alshon Jeffery had 105 yards and Martellus Bennett caught two touchdowns.The Bears moved to 2-1 on the season and all appeared to be headed in the right direction.Offense: The Jets come into this game ranked 26th in yards and 13th in points.Their passing offense ranks 27th in yards while their rushing game is 12th.No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold (56.1 completion percentage/1,552 yds./10 TD/10 INT) is struggling as rookies often do. His 10 INTs lead the league.In his last three games he has six TDs and five INTs. His best receivers are Quincy Enunwa (22 rec./287 yds./1 TD), who is injured, Robby Anderson (17/314/3), Jermaine Kearse (16/165/0) and Terrelle Pryor (14/235/2).Other receivers of note include TE Christopher Herndon (11/145/2).The Jets receiving back, Bilal Powell (11/110/1 receiving, 80 att./343 yds./0) went on I.R. this week, leaving leading rusher Isaiah Crowell (81/459/5) as the main running back.One-time Bears QB coach Jeremy Bates is calling the plays.Defense: The Jets defense ranks 20th in yards allowed and 17th in points allowed.They are 21st against the pass and 14th against the run.Up front they have Leonard Williams (3 sacks/6 TFL/10 QB hits) and Henry Anderson (2.5 sacks/3 TFL/4 QB hits). LBs Jordan Jenkins (2.5 sacks/6 QB hits), Brandon Copeland (2 sacks/5 TFL/8 QB hits) and Avery Williamson (2 sacks/4 TFL/3 QB hits) are lurking too.In the secondary is Morris Claiborne (2 INTs/9 PDs/2 TFL) playing very well Womens Dion Sims Jersey , along with Trumaine Johnson, who is injured, (1 INT/2 PDs) and playmaker Jamal Adams (1 INT/6 PDs/2 FF/6 TFL). LB Darron Lee (3 INT/5 PD/2 TFL) is also making plays.This is another unit that is going to show Mitch Trubisky a lot of exotic and disguised fronts to throw him off. They have some corners who can play man well and Trubisky has struggled against man coverage.The Jets have had some struggles but there are some playmakers on the defense, especially in the secondary.Injury report: The Jets had 14 players on their Wednesday injury report.Limited: S Marcus Maye (thumb), LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (foot), CB Buster Skrine (concussion)Did not participate: WR Robby Anderson (ankle), T Kelvin Beachum (back), CB Morris Claiborne (shoulder/foot), WR Quincy Enunwa (ankle), CB Trumaine Johnson (quad), LB Darron Lee (illness), C Spencer Long (knee/finger)Full participation: G James Carpenter (shoulder/ankle), RB Isaiah Crowell (foot), WR Andre Roberts (foot/ankle), DL Leonard Williams (back)Key match ups: The Jets are very banged up but assuming that at least Claiborne can go, it will be interesting to see how he matches up against Taylor Gabriel (unless Allen Robinson plays and Claiborne flips sides to cover him with Johnson possibly out).How the Bears run defense stacks up against Crowell will be interesting too. Crowell absolutely gashed the Broncos a couple of weeks ago for 219 yards and he put up 102 in week one against the Lions. The pass rush should have some opportunities against the Jets , who have allowed 16 sacks, but can the Bears generate a pass rush if Khalil Mack is still hampered by his ankle injury?What to watch for: Will the Bears finally get back on track after two struggling weeks? If there was a match up that favored Vic Fangio and the defense to get their game straightened out after two bad games, this is it. The Jets can put up points and with the way the Bears have been gashed by James White and Frank Gore, Crowell could make it a long day.That said though, the secondary will have some chances, especially if Akiem Hicks can get back on track and maybe Leonard Floyd shows up?This is another test for Mitch Trubisky to play soundly and take care of the football because Jamal Adams will be lurking back there waiting for an errant throw into double coverage.Key stats: The Jets have allowed 71 points the last two weeks, the Bears have allowed 69.The Jets have the third most turnovers in the league with 16, the Bears are second in the league in takeaways with 17. The Jets defense is just behind the Bears, with 15.The Bears have the league’s fourth best third down conversion rate on offense at 46.8 percent. The Jets rank 28th at 34.4 percent.Prediction: This game favors the Bears and in Vegas the spread is up to 7.5 in some places. I think that the Bears can cover this game, but that it might end up being closer than fans would like. My pick is Bears 28, Jets 17. To see my pick on the total click here to see my piece on Sports Bet Collective. My pick is free when you create an account.Do you think the Bears can get back in the win column this weekend?
  5. The Bears needed nearly an entire half to get into the end zone , but getting there with 40 seconds left in the second quarter was enough to put them up at the break.Chase Daniel threw his first touchdown pass since 2013 (and second of his career) to running back Taquan Mizzell and the Bears are up 9-7 after their two-point attempt was unsuccessful. Dating back to last week, it’s the third straight time the Bears have gone for two after a touchdown and the first time they failed to convert.A penalty flag was thrown on the touchdown pass, but officials picked it up without assessing an offensive pass interference penalty on Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson. Robinson stopped, turned around and flashed his hands toward Daniel while standing in the way of linebacker Christian Jones.Daniel has gone 16-of-21 for 153 yards and just missed an open Tarik Cohen for a touchdown on an earlier Bears possession. The Bears kept things pretty conservative for much of the half, but opened things up a bit on their final two drives. Daniel made that look smart by hitting Allen Robinson and Anthony Miller for the only plays of more than 20 yards by either team so far on Thursday.Matthew Stafford has not done much downfield throwing. With no Marvin Jones at receiver Eddie Jackson Jersey , they’ve kept things exceedingly simple in the passing game and Stafford is 16-of-20 for 98 yards. They’ve matched that with 26 rushing yards, so they’ll need to find a way to generate something more threatening in the second half if they hope to celebrate a win along with their turkey. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is on track to miss a second straight game with the right shoulder injury he suffered on a hit by Vikings safety Harrison Smith as Trubisky was on his way down at the end of a run in Week 11.Trubisky has not thrown at practice since being injured, but he has spent some time thinking about how to avoid further injuries. Trubisky said he will “continue to work on my slides and make sure they鈥檙e cleaner,” but that he is not going to let the injury keep him from making plays with his feet when the situation calls for it.“I would say I’ve done a real good job of getting yardage for this team, creating positive plays and causing trouble for the defenses while also protecting myself Authentic Dion Sims Jersey ,” Trubisky said, via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Nothing’s going to change when I get back. I’m going to continue to stay aggressive and play ball the way I know how.”Trubisky’s ability to make plays as a runner has been a big plus to his game over his first two NFL seasons and losing that dimension would be a negative for the Bears offense, so they’ll do what they can to make things safer for the quarterback and then hold their breath when he takes off on a run.
  6. NFL Week 1 Power Rankings: How big an impact do they think Khalil Mack has on the Bears? Before the Chicago Bears shocked the NFL and traded for one of the best players in the game , most national pundits were predicting the Bears would be fighting to climb out of the NFC North cellar. But now, after general manager Ryan Pace went all-in on the 2018 season by shipping a few draft picks to the Oakland Raiders for Khalil Mack, people are rethinking the Bears’ prospects. They retooled their offense in the off-season, but the success on that side of the ball still hinges on Mitchell Trubisky progressing. Meanwhile, Mack is a finished product. He’s going to get double digit sacks and multiple pressures each game. He takes defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s unit already solid defense to another level. I think the playoffs are a real possibility for the Bears in 2018, but let’s take a trip around the Week 1 NFL Power Rankings to see where others have the Bears ranked.We’ll start with the flagship, SB Nation Youth Roquan Smith Jersey , and they have Chicago at 13th!There was a nine place climb from as they put the Bears at 15th.CBS Sports’ Pete Prisco has the Bears up four spots, to 24.Here’s how the Washington Post has it.Here’s how Yahoo has the Bears.Fans of both the Bears and Cardinals expect a big Chicago win Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL, powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Bears fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.One of our standard weekly FanPulse questions is, “Will the Bears win or lose?” And they also ask by how much. This same question is posed to the FanPulse of the Bears’ opponent each week, so Cardinals’ fans were asked if they think their team will win or lose Youth Eddie Goldman Jersey , and by how much as well. Both Chicago Bears’ fans and Arizona Cardinals’ fans are predicting a 9 point Chicago win this Sunday. As we told you guys in our earlier week 3 FanPulse, Cardinals’ fans are the least confident in their franchise among all 32 SB Nation NFL team sites. Arizona has been really bad through two games, so this could be a good time for the Bears offense to get into a little groove.What do you guys predict for the game?And if you haven’t joined FanPulse, do it now!
  7. The Stampede Blue writing team would like to give Colts fans a chance to ask questions about the team. We are also open to ideas and suggestions for new content. We will share a mailbag post on the front page Jabaal Sheard Jersey , on Twitter and on Facebook. Please share your Colts questions or story ideas and we will do our best to provide answers. Thank you for taking the time to share your questions and ideas. Highlights from Week 3 of the 2018 NFL SeasonQ: Who do you think will lead the Colts in sacks this year? Do the Colts finish with more total sacks than our opponents?A: It’s super early but I’ll say Jabaal Sheard. Sheard is currently tied with Margus Hunt and Darius Leonard with 4 sacks this season.Q: Do we have an actual WR2 or are we going with a WR2 by committee?A: Ryan Grant is the WR2. He is our possession receiver who keeps the chains moving and find ways to get open on short routes. Not anymore, Dontrelle Inman appears to have taken over that role at this point. Q: Besides Nelson/Leonard, who will be the best player from our 2018 class?A: Considering that Cain was lost for the season with an ACL injury, Tyquan Lewis is on the injured reserve, and Reece Fountain is working some things out on the practice squad Authentic Margus Hunt Jersey , it’s a pretty difficult projection. However, I think that Jordan Wilkins could very well earn the “lead back” responsibilities in his sophomore season.I clearly didn’t predict that Marlon Mack would return to the field with back-to-back 100 yard rushing games. I still like Wilkins a lot but this high octane offense seems built for players like Mack and Hines. I also still believe Wilkins could have a bigger role in 2019. Also, right now, the best player besides Nelson and Leonard is starting right tackle Braden Smith.Q: Can Ballard quiet some of his harsher critics if this year’s rookie class plays well?A: I think any NFL general manager will quiet critics when their rookies play well. However, I think Ballard’s job is broader than just how the rookies play or develop. I think he will be judged primarily on the development of the team overall and an identity that fans can get behind.This rookie class has been incredible to this point. I would say that Ballard has bought some trust and time to keep improving the roster. The defensive identity is still missing but there is some pretty exciting offensive work being done.Q: What positions do you think the Colts will target in the 2019 draft?I believe Ballard will continue concentrating on the trenches. He will likely look to bring in a player or two to represent the future at each offensive tackle spot. He will also likely look at a pass rushing prospect early on if one is available. Finding another true animal at linebacker would also create a potentially potent situation for the defense. Imagine pairing Darius Leonard with a similar impact player at the position. I still think a lot of attention will be focused on the trenches and expect pass rush and interior defensive lineman to receive attention. I believe at least one wide receiver will be targeted early Youth Al Woods Jersey , and possibly in the first two rounds. I also think that the secondary will receive quite a bit of attention and it could be similar to the peppering in the middle rounds that Ballard gave to the wide receiver and running back positions in 2018.Andrew Luck to start Colts preseason opener, play the first quarter For those trying to decide whether it is worth it to tune in tomorrow for the Colts’ first preseason game action against Seattle, perhaps it will persuade you a bit to know that the tentative plan for quarterback Andrew Luck as far as playing time goes is to start the game and play for most if not all of the first quarter. When addressing the media on Tuesday, head coach Frank Reich said that Luck would start and would play through a “range of plays and situations” that they want to hit with Luck and that they will keep things fluid as far as how much playing time he would get. Reich joked that it would be a quarter, “give or take a half a quarter.”Reich repeatedly talked about seeking rhythm as one of the primary things they’ll look for out of Luck’s play early in the game , emphasizing the need to control the rush of adrenaline that will come with being back in football. He is looking to see Luck get the ball out quickly and move down the field.If you were hoping to see something evolutionary on the offensive side of the ball, you might be disappointed. When asked about the likelihood of Luck operating the “no huddle” on Thursday, Reich shot the idea down.“Probably not. You know, it’s preseason so we’ll stay pretty basic.”Reich isn’t looking to show his hand before the games count, so expect the offense to be vanilla. However Cheap Jordan Wilkins Jersey , vanilla offense with Andrew Luck at the helm is a whole lot more exciting than most of what we got in 2017, so it could still be a lot of fun to watch. While this game won’t count, it will matter a lot as the next major in Luck’s progress toward a full return. A strong showing will go a long way to calm the fears of Colts fans who are still wary, and will quiet some of the questions outside of Indianapolis about what the Colts should expect out of Luck this season. The game kicks off at 10pm EDT tomorrow. Check here to find out how you can watch or listen.
  8. The Chargers pulled out a stunning 29-28 win on Thursday night that left the AFC West title up for grabs over the final two weeks of the regular season.While the division crown is unsettled Cheap Terrance Smith Jersey , the team knows it will be heading to the playoffs one way or another as a result of the win. It’s the first time they’ll be in the postseason since 2013 and tight end Antonio Gates reflected on ending that drought when Thursday night’s game was over.“Very emotional,鈥?Gates said, via the team’s website. “I think what happens is that you think about all the hard times and the things you had to go through to get to this point. I think that鈥檚 what sticks out the most. Any time you鈥檙e able to put yourself in a position where you can accomplish certain goals, I think the first thing that comes to mind is the people that did it with you. [The people who] went through the trials and tribulations with you, and just all the sacrifices you鈥檝e put in, and for me, just putting into this organization.”Gates didn’t return to the Chargers until just before the start of this season and has played a limited role for most of the year. He said he was OK with that because he was focused on the “bigger picture” of winning a title. His four catches for 54 yards helped the Chargers take a step in that direction on Thursday. TEMPE, Ariz. — When the season started for the Arizona Cardinals, Sam Bradford was the quarterback and Mike McCoy was offensive coordinator.Now both are gone.On Saturday, while the team was enjoying a long weekend off, the Cardinals released Bradford, who lost his starting job after three games to rookie Josh Rosen and had been inactive for the last five. Bradford’s departure came a little less than two weeks after McCoy was fired and replaced by quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich.Coach Steve Wilks said Monday that in releasing Bradford “we did what we thought was best for the team. We needed that position to be able to add quality depth at different positions.”The Cardinals made several roster moves during their bye week. Last week Dee Ford Jersey , they signed tight end John Phillips and offensive lineman Colby Gossett. Gossett was signed off the Minnesota practice squad. On Monday, Arizona signed offensive lineman Zack Golditch from the Indianapolis practice squad. The team also re-signed wide receiver Kendall Wright, who had a 10-day stint with the team in October.Arizona was looking to add depth on the offensive line even though all five starters might be healthy enough to play Sunday at Kansas City. John Wetzel, a backup at both tackle and guard, was placed on injured reserve Saturday with a neck injury.Right guard Justin Pugh said he is hoping his broken hand will be healed enough for him to play Sunday, which would be four weeks from the day he injured it.The Cardinals (2-6) are coming off a come-from-behind win over San Francisco but face a much more daunting challenge against the Chiefs (8-1), who opened as 15-point favorites with the advantage moving to 16 points on Monday.“Dynamic in every area,” Wilks said of the Chiefs, “particularly on the offensive side of the ball. (Patrick) Mahomes is playing outstanding, an MVP-caliber player right now, and all the weapons around him. Again, it’s just about trying to eliminate the big plays Cheap Xavier Williams Jersey , and that’s what they’re known for thus far this year is just creating big plays over the top. We’ve got to try to eliminate that.”It’s the first of several difficult road challenges for Arizona in the second half of the season. The Cardinals also play at Atlanta, Green Bay and the Los Angeles Chargers.Arizona’s practice Monday was its first since last Tuesday. A workout had been scheduled for last Wednesday but Wilks cancelled it.“A lot of injuries, I wanted to be able to give the guys an opportunity to recover,” he said.Despite the long weekend, Arizona got an extra day of practice this week. Players have Tuesday off before returning to their regular Wednesday-Thursday-Friday practice schedule.It gives Leftwich a little extra time to work on the offense, which slogged through three quarters before Rosen threw two TD passes in the fourth-quarter in the 18-15 win over San Francisco.“I think it was very beneficial,” Wilks said. “I’m out there, and I’m watching the flow of practice. I’m seeing it in action with Josh and the things that they’re doing. Not really to indulge a lot in the game plan, but you can see Byron trying to evolve and move this offense in another direction. I think the bye week was very beneficial to him, as well as to the offense.”Rookie wide receiver Christian Kirk said Leftwich brings “a lot of new energy.”“He’s such a smart mind and he’s just really good at putting his guys in the right position,” Kirk said.
  9. The latestPatrick Mahomes Talks Tyreek Hill , Tom Brady and His Voice | Fox Sports2018 NFL MVP Odds: Patrick Mahomes Remains Favorite Ahead of Todd Gurley, More | Bleacher ReportEven with perpetual offensive line changes, Chiefs don’t expect to miss a beat | Kansas City StarFatal flaws that could sink Jags, Chiefs and six others | NFLChiefs coach Andy Reid cool with TD parties ‘as long as they stay within the rules’ | Kansas City StarStart ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Week 8: Defenses | NFLNFL finalizes Saturday schedule for 2018: Find out which teams have been flexed | CBS Sports2018 NFL trade deadline: One move for each AFC team to make | NFLAround the league5 NFL players who should be traded for their own good | SB NationPatrick Peterson aims to be with Cardinals ‘for years’ | NFL2018 NFL Trade Deadline: Ten trades contenders should make for a Super Bowl, playoff run | CBS SportsChad Kelly released by Broncos day after arrest | NFLAmari Cooper thrilled to get ‘fresh start’ with Cowboys | NFLEagles’ Malcolm Jenkins: Jaguars prove Colin Kaepernick deserves job as NFL QB | USA TodayNFL Makes Seahawks Available To All Comers, But The Line Remains Short | ForbesIn case you missed it at Arrowhead PrideShould the Chiefs trade for Patrick Peterson?Chiefs announce Daniel Sorensen will return to practice...Social Media Information:AP Facebook Page: Click here to like our pageAP Instagram: Follow @ArrowheadPrideAP Twitter: Follow @ArrowheadPrideAP Editor-in-Chief: Pete Sweeney: Follow @pgsween610 Sports Twitter: Follow @610SportsKC Patrick Mahomes had finally thrown an interception, the first all season for the Chiefs' talented young quarterback, and the Jacksonville offense had shuffled back onto the field.The Chiefs immediately strip-sacked Blake Bortles to take the ball right back.Their beleaguered defense also picked off Bortles four times and sacked him five, and Chris Jones took one of those interceptions back for a touchdown, proving during a 30-14 romp over Jacksonville on a soggy Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium that the Chiefs are more than just an offensive dynamo."It shows what kind of team we are," said Mahomes, who finished with 313 yards passing and ran for a touchdown. "I'm just excited to come out with a win on a day the defense made plays."Oh, the league's highest-scoring offense still made plays.Kareem Hunt ran for 87 yards and a touchdown, and Travis Kelce hauled in five catches for 100 yards, helping the Chiefs (5-0) move the ball at will against the NFL's top-rated defense.Tyreek Hill, who was frequently matched up with the Jaguars' Jalen Ramsey in an entertaining one-on-one affair, added four catches for 61 yards as the Chiefs rolled up 424 yards total."That play calling was something I've never seen before," said the Jaguars' Tashaun Gipson Youth Xavier Williams Jersey , who picked off Mahomes before leaving with a groin injury. "Tip your hat to them. Obviously, the offensive personnel they've got 鈥?they came out here and they beat us."The game eventually grew into a testy affair, resulting in a pair of ejections.Jones was booted in the second half after he dropped an elbow on a Jaguars lineman while both were on the ground following a point-after attempt. Then, pass rusher Dee Ford joined him in the locker room when he was whistled for his second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty."You can't let emotions get the best of you," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said.If anybody had reason to get frustrated it was Bortles, who was 33 of 61 for 430 yards with a touchdown and those four interceptions . Most of his yardage came in garbage time, and while he ran for a touchdown, he also was strip-sacked during Jacksonville's miserable first half.Mahomes led the Chiefs 73 yards on their first possession, finishing the drive himself with a short scramble for a touchdown. Then he led the league's high-powered offense 82 yards for a field goal a few minutes later, leaving Jacksonville's vaunted D second-guessing itself.Meanwhile, the Jaguars' offense was having all kinds of problems.Jacksonville (3-2) drove inside the Kansas City 5 early in the second quarter, but an incomplete fade on third down and another incompletion on fourth turned the ball over. Bortles was stripped on the first play of their next possession, and he threw the pick-6 to Jones on the first play of the next.The calamitous half ended when Bortles, trying to force a pass into the end zone, instead bounced it off his offensive lineman's helmet and right to Steven Nelson for another interception."It felt a lot like some games we've had in the past, just moved the ball, there were some good things done, we had some bad turnovers," Bortles said. "You can't turn the ball over."In Bortles' defense Youth Patrick Mahomes Jersey , his offensive line didn't give him a whole lot of time. Along with the five sacks, the Chiefs were credited with 11 hurries, spending most of the game in his face.Bortles' only real highlight came late in the game, when he escaped the collapsing pocket and angled toward the sideline, then lowered his shoulder to finish off a 21-yard touchdown run .The Jaguars recovered the onside kick, only for the Chiefs to force another turnover on downs."They did a good job early in the game getting a lead. They did a good job early on third downs in the game. Offensively, we didn't execute," Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. "Again, we had a poor showing in the red zone, we had turnovers, and the game got out of hand. Got to play better. We've got to coach better, play better. We got to go back and get this team back on track."RAMSEY VS HILLHill had nothing but praise for Ramsey after the game, though he did beat the Jaguars cornerback for one long gain. As for Ramsey? "I felt like I did pretty well. Really well, to be honest," he said. "I won the majority of the matchups today, put it that way."STATS AND STREAKSThe Chiefs' first TD was the first allowed by Jacksonville on a team's opening possession. ... The Jaguars have not started 2-0 on the road since the 2007 season. ... Jaguars RB T.J. Yeldon had 53 yards rushing. ... Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins had six catches for 78 yards.INJURIESJaguars: RB Corey Grant (foot) and LT Josh Wells (groin) left in the first half. Ramsey left on the opening series after taking a knee to the helmet, but returned to play the rest of the game.Chiefs: OLBs Justin Houston (hamstring) and Tanoh Kpassagnon (ankle) and FSs Armani Watts (groin) and Eric Murray (lower leg) left the game in the first half. RG Laurent Duvernay-Tardif left in the final minutes with a fractured fibia in his left leg.UP NEXTJaguars: Visit the Cowboys next Sunday.Chiefs: Head to New England for a Sunday night showdown.
  10. The Cowboys were already going to be hard-pressed to make the playoffs after falling to 3-5 last week Womens Amari Cooper Jersey , but losing against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night would have effectively slammed the door shut on any hopes of saving the season. Surprisingly, the Cowboys pulled out a 27-20 win and kept hope alive for their season. What were the five plays that shaped the game?Jaylon Smith and company snuff out a fourth-down attemptEarly in the game, Doug Pederson and the Eagles did their usual thing of rolling the dice on fourth down. The Cowboys were leading 3-0 when Philly attempted to convert a 4th-and-1 at the Dallas 20-yard line. The Cowboys defense was having none of it as Jaylon Smith led a group of defenders who crushed the play in its tracks, providing momentum for Dallas. The Cowboys took the ball on downs and marched 14 plays downfield for another field goal.They also took eight minutes off the clock during the drive, adding to their time of possession and tiring out the Philly defense. For bonus Jaylon Smith love, watch this play from the Eagles very first possession. (You can skip the first play in the tweet below as it was from a different game).Michael Gallup converts a huge first down on a screenThe Cowboys had the ball in their own territory with just under two minutes left in the half. Philly had just gotten on the board with a field goal, making it a 6-3 lead for Dallas. The Cowboys had a perfect opportunity to go down and score a touchdown to make it a ten-point halftime lead. But a first down sack complicated things, and after Ezekiel Elliott gained back eight yards on a run, the offense faced a third and 15 at their own 35 with 58 seconds left. Prescott took the snap and hit Michael Gallup on a simple screen with good blocking, and the open-field ability that made Gallup such an intriguing prospect took over. Gallup sliced through the defenders to pick up 25 yards, get the first down, and place the ball in Eagles territory at the 40-yard line. If the Cowboys didn’t get that conversion, the Eagles maybe have enough time to go down and score again. Instead, the drive was kept alive and it ended with Prescott scoring on a goal line QB sneak. Xavier Woods knocks ball loose from Alshon Jeffery, prevents a touchdownOn the Eagles’ first offensive drive of the second half, they were moving the ball. It helped that they started at their own 45, and Carson Wentz remembered that Zach Ertz was on his team, finding the tight end three different times before the Eagles were in a first and goal situation. Here, the Cowboys defense stiffened up again, and forced a third down. Wentz threw a strike to Alshon Jeffery over the middle in the endzone that, if caught, would be a touchdown that cut the lead to just a field goal. Instead, Xavier Woods swooped in and knocked the ball loose. Philadelphia settled for a field goal and Dallas kept a somewhat comfortable lead at 13-6. Dak hits Hurns for a big third-down conversionAfter a Cowboys touchdown, the Eagles went right back down the field and tied it up again at 20-20 with their own touchdown and the Cowboys offense was in the same situation as last time: trying to score a go-ahead touchdown. Big plays from Dalton Schultz and Amari Cooper helped move the ball to the Philly 34-yard line, but Dak quickly found himself looking at a third and eight. He took the snap and threw a strike to Allen Hurns over the middle, who picked up the first down and more after the catch. In total, he got 23 yards on the play and took it inside the 10-yard line for what would become an Ezekiel Elliott touchdown run three plays later, and prove to be the game winning touchdown. Leighton Vander Esch makes a shoestring tackle, saves the gameLeighton Vander Esch has been not only the best rookie linebacker this year, but one of the best linebackers in all of the NFL. He had the best performance of his young career Sunday night, kicking it off with an interception in the first quarter. However, the biggest moment came in the fourth quarter. The Eagles faced a third and two at the Dallas 30. The two-minute warning had just happened. Philadelphia needed a touchdown to tie things up. Wentz dumped off the screen pass to Corey Clement, who had blockers and space to not only pick up the first down, but even more. Then this happened:As the broadcasters explain in the replay, Vander Esch was the only player in the area at that point. If he failed to make the tackle on Clement, it would have been up to the defensive backs to stop him from scoring a touchdown , and even then it would be a first down at least. The Eagles were instead forced to go for it on fourth down and failed, largely because Vander Esch’s tackle had also cost them five yards. The Eagles would get the ball back later with time for a last minute attempt at tying the game, but it never had a chance. Vander Esch’s shoestring tackle on third down was the closer in a game that the Cowboys desperately needed.10 thoughts on the Cowboys 26-24 victory over the Lions Man, did we need that one.The Dallas Cowboys are back at .500 after edging out the Detroit Lions 26-24 on Sunday. It was a nail-biter after the Lions jumped ahead 24-23 with just over two minutes to go in the game as fans everywhere were feeling that sucker punch that appeared to be the 2018 season. Then suddenly that gut-wrenching feeling turned to elation as the Cowboys answered with an impressive drive and a fantastic finish. The offense showed life, the defense showed weakness, and the special teams was special when it counted the most. Here are my 10 thoughts on the Cowboys win over the Lions.1. Career high for ZekeWhen your backs are up against the wall, that’s when it’s time to lean heavily on your best playmaker. And that’s exactly what the Cowboys did with Ezekiel Elliott on Sunday. Zeke not only rush 25 times for 152 yards (6.1 average), but he added four catches for 88 yards for a career-high 240 overall yards. The ground game was strong, but Elliott came away with two big plays as a receiver. Late in the first half, Zeke took a screen play to the house for a 38-yard touchdown. Then, he struck again late in the second half, on a wheel route when he made a great over the shoulder catch for a 34-yard gain that put the Cowboys in field goal range to win the game. Zeke was just an absolute beast on Sunday, putting this team on his back and carrying them to victory.2. Career high for TankDeMarcus Lawrence first pro sack came in the 2014 Wild Card game against the Lions. It was a big play that saved the game and helped the Cowboys advance to the Divisional round. That was the last time Lawrence played against the Lions.Well, he came up big against them again on Sunday. The Cowboys defense sacked Matthew Stafford three times and Lawrence had them all. That ties a career high in sacks for a single game as he also had three during a game in September last year as well. Lawrence would also record eight tackles, including six of them solo.Lawrence started fast last year and he’s doing the same thing again this season. It’s looking more and more like he’s going to get a big contract next offseason.3. Little man Tate was greatThe Cowboys secondary had all kinds of problems on Sunday, but they really struggled with stopping Golden Tate. The Lions veteran receiver had eight catches for 132 yards on the day, but most of the damage came on two big plays, both for touchdowns. The secondary appeared all out of sorts on each of those plays. On the first touchdown, Tate would cut outside causing cornerback Jourdan Lewis to slip, allowing Tate to get open and make the catch uncontested. Jeff Heath was there as a safety net, but a slight juke was all it took to send Heath to the carpet, resulting in a 45-yard score.Then, late in the fourth quarter, Tate would strike again after Anthony Brown didn’t play back far enough, allowing room for Stafford to fit the pass to Tate. Chidobe Awuzie was too far inside to help out, resulting in a 38-yard touchdown.The Cowboys secondary is all of a sudden having problems with their coverage. Seattle burned them a couple times last week and they were burned again on Sunday. This is a little alarming.4. Dak taking deep shotsIt was extremely exciting that Dak Prescott’s first two passes were both 30+ yards completions. Even though the drive stalled out with just a field goal, it was a good sign that Dak was going to make a concerted effort to throw the ball down the field. The coverage was actually pretty good on the 37-yard play to Michael Gallup, but Dak put the ball in the perfect spot and the rookie went up and made the play.Prescott was 17 of 27 passing for 255 yards for an average of 9.4 yards per attempt. It was his eighth highest Y/A game of his career. The Cowboys continue to emerge victorious when Prescott eclipses the 7.0 Y/A. Entering the game, Dallas is a perfect 18-0 when Dak averages over seven yards per attempt. Make that 19-0 now.The Cowboys had just three pass plays of 20 yards or more in the first three games. They had four against the Lions.5. I’m starting to like this Swaim fellaLast week, it was nauseating to see Geoff Swaim as the team’s leading receiver with five catches for 47 yards. He had more targets than any of the Cowboys wide receivers. Clearly, that is not the Cowboys formula for winning.Swaim would drop his production a bit on Sunday, but boy were they good use of his targets. He would catch a 31-yard pass for the offense’s initial first-down of the game. Then, Prescott would hit him for a one-yard touchdown to give the Cowboys a 20-10 lead late in the third quarter.Swaim isn’t this great athletic receiving tight end, but he has come along well as a reliable target for Prescott. Against the Lions, he had his longest reception of his career and his first ever NFL touchdown, and they were both on different plays. The Cowboys might have something with this guy.6. Heads up play by PrescottIt’s easy to feel good about the Cowboys final drive that set up the game winning field goal Womens Taco Charlton Jersey , but it shouldn’t get lost in how close they were to catastrophe. The Cowboys were facing a 2nd-and-3 when the Lions were able to knock the ball out of Prescott’s hands. Dak immediately located the ball and picked it up, allowing him to scramble to the right and just throw it away. Dallas was able to convert on third down and the drive stayed alive.If the Lions recover the ball, the game is likely over. If Dak just falls on it, the Cowboys would’ve faced a third-and-long and the outcome might have been different. Prescott made a great play.That play actually made me think about the Tony Romo fumble in the end zone against the Lions that kept a fourth quarter drive alive in 2006. Romo scooped up his own fumble and was able to find Terrell Owens for the completion for a first down. Dallas would go on to score and win that game.7. Kerryon not utilizedLast week against the New England Patriots, the Lions broke an incredible streak of 70-straight games without a 100-yard rusher thanks to the strong performance by rookie running back Kerryon Johnson. All signs pointed to the Cowboys defense facing the daunting task of keeping him in check this week. But for some reason, the Lions didn’t use him very much.Johnson averaged 6.1 yards per carry which is the exact same average Zeke had in this game, but Johnson only had nine carries. Johnson scampered off for 32 yards on the game’s first play from scrimmage and had a punishing eight-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, but there wasn’t a whole lot in between. Lions fans should be wanting some answers as they underutilized one of their better offensive weapons.8. Great play from the offensive lineEzekiel Elliott will get all the glory, but it cannot be stated enough in how well this offensive line played for Dallas. The Cowboys did a good job of pulling lineman and getting blockers out in space. Everyone was doing it. On the designed screen play to Zeke that resulted in a big touchdown, he had a convoy of blockers leading the way.Yes, that’s “Jumbo” Joe Looney running 40 yards down the field to block for Zeke. With wheels like that, that was easily his best Zeke impression to date.Not only was the blocking outstanding, but the offensive line showed a lot more discipline against the Lions. They didn’t commit a single penalty. No holding calls, no false starts, nada. The Cowboys did get called for an illegal block in the back, but that was on Elliott when he was blocking for Tavon Austin.All in all, the Cowboys only had two penalties for 20 yards, which was outstanding. Detroit, however, couldn’t get out of their own way.9. The lonesome kickerWhen you take the beloved Dan Bailey’s job away from him, that’s not a quick way to make friends among Cowboys Nation. When you miss your first ever NFL kick, people are pretty much not going to like you. But since that first miss, new Cowboys kicker Brett Maher (pronounced Maw-her) has made eight straight kicks. Against the Lions, he would knock down four field goals, including the game-winner as time expired.Maher’s 38-yard game winner was huge and that’s a kick Bailey has made countless times. Speaking of Bailey, the former Cowboys kicker would attempt his first kick with his new team on Thursday night as he knocked down a 37-yarder. However, if it would have been 38 yards, it might have been wide right. Man, that would have given me a heart attack if Maher did that on Sunday.The Cowboys front office might have known what they were doing by going with Maher. 10. Earl Thomas trade talks are officially overAfter tormenting the Cowboys last week with two interceptions, Earl Thomas’ season likely came to an end on Sunday after suffering a leg injury. Thomas has been scrutinized for wanting out of Seattle after not being offered an extension. He tried to play it safe, avoiding as much live action football he could during preseason, but alas - the grim reaper came calling on Sunday.While some fans were hoping the Cowboys would finagle some type of trade to bolster their safety position, that idea can officially be squashed. Thomas may still be a part of the Cowboys future, but he won’t be playing for them in 2018. Custom Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys
  11. Before the Cowboys gave up a first-round pick to get receiver Amari Cooper Youth Cole Beasley Jersey , they did the kind of homework they would do before making a first-round pick.While it should be no surprise that these calls occurred, it’s worth pointing out that the Cowboys did indeed cast a wide net before acquiring the fourth overall pick in the 2015 draft. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Cowboys spoke to Alabama coach Nick Saban, former Raiders coach Jack Del Rio, and others before finalizing the deal. (Both Jerry and Stephen Jones said publicly this week that they spoke to Saban.)Per Schefter Youth Demarcus Lawrence Jersey , the people who know Cooper “spoke glowingly” about him. Which is fine. The question isn’t whether he’s a good guy or a bad guy but whether his skills and abilities justify giving up next year’s first-round pick.The move entails plenty of risk. The coaching staff and quarterback Dak Prescott will feel very real pressure to get the ball to Cooper, which could result in some throws being made to Cooper when they shouldn’t be. And as to owner Jerry Jones’ proclamation that Cooper will be with the team for the long haul, it will get very expensive starting next year to keep him around.That’s when his salary shoots to $13.924 million and the cost for extending the deal becomes, as a practical matter, more than $30 million guaranteed over the first two years. If they wait until his contract expires and the franchise-tag deadline looms , it could take more than $36 million over the first two years.Report: Cowboys talked contract extension with Cole Beasley this offseason It has been a busy offseason for Cole Beasley. Hip-hop records, football training, and contract talks have taken over Beasley’s offseason, but he only has one thing in mind, focusing on football.Mike Fisher of 247Sports was on The Shan and RJ Show on 105.3 The Fan this morning and reported that the Cowboys approached Cole Beasley in training camp about possibly signing a contract extension before the start of the season. According to Fisher , the talks didn’t get very far, before Beasley shut them down and wanted to put his full focus on training camp, and preparing for the upcoming season. There were reports during training camp that Beasley was not happy with his contract. Blogging The Boys own RJ Ochoa hinted at the possible contract extension back in August: Is Cole Beasley in line for a contract extension with the Cowboys?It seems as if talks have stalled for now, but this is something to keep an eye on as the season progresses. The Cowboys obviously seem interested in retaining the slot receiver after the 2018 season. Custom San Francisco 49ers Jerseys
  12. UPDATE (10/12): Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert shared a photo on Twitter of his ankle , which is now in cast following surgery. It’s not pretty.Here’s another angle of his ankle:Here’s to a speedy recovery for Eifert!UPDATE (10/1): Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert has already had surgery to repair his broken ankle, and it sounds like it went as well as it possibly could: Since the injury occurred in late September, it’s ‘possible’ Eifert is fully recovered by the time he becomes a free agent in March. It’s going to be interesting to see how the Bengals handle it, as they also have Tyler Kroft and C.J. Uzomah also set to become free agents. Ideally, the Bengals get one of them re-signed and give Eifert another one-year ‘prove it’ deal. Eifert deserves another shot, but he’s not going to get much interest on the market Bengals Alex Redmond Jersey , so the Bengals may be able to keep him at a minimal deal. At least he’s in good spirits.Just as his season was taking off, Tyler Eifert is out for the rest of 2018.The Bengals tight end suffered a broken ankle vs. the Falcons that will require surgery, according to Adam Schefter. Eifert has since posted an emotional message on Twitter: With Eifert playing under a one-year deal this season, Eifert’s career in Bengals stripes may have ended on the Atlanta turf. What makes this injury even harder to stomach was it came right as Eifert was starting to establish himself as one of the game’s best tight ends.Last week in Carolina, Eifert hauled in six catches on eight targets for 78 yards. Then in just over a half of work against the Falcons, Eifert caught four passes on four targets for 38 yards and his first touchdown of 2018.That score ultimately helped the Bengals escape Atlanta with a hard-fought 37-36 win. Here’s to hoping for a speedy recovery for Eifert.Ravens open as favorite over Bengals in Week 2 The Bengals are coming off an impressive road win over the Colts to begin the 2018 season.However Cheap Carlos Dunlap Jersey , the Ravens were arguably the most impressive of any NFL team in the first week of action. They absolutely demolished the Bills en route to a 47-3 win, which frankly was one of the biggest beatdowns the NFL has seen in recent memory.This isn’t Alabama vs. the little sisters of the poor. The league is created in a way that promotes parity and competitive games when even the best teams face the worst teams.So when an NFL team beats another by 44 points, oddsmakers take notice, and they currently have Baltimore as a 1.5-point favorite over Cincinnati in Week 2. Now, it has to be pointed out that the Bengals have won seven of the last nine meetings, and one of those losses was with A.J. Green out of the lineup. The other was with Ken Zampese still calling the offense Cheap John Ross Jersey , which is arguably worse than not having Green.The Bengals also went into Baltimore and knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs last season. On one hand, that gives you more confidence the Bengals can take care of business at home. On the other hand, the revenge factor is very real, and the Ravens will be hell-bent on getting theirs on Thursday Night Football.Then again, you could argue the Bengals want some measure of revenge themselves for the 20-0 home embarrassment they suffered to Baltimore in Week 1 last season. The Bengals take pride in defending their home turf, and they’ll be ready to ensure a repeat of 2017 doesn’t happen in 2018.All told Bengals Bobby Hart Jersey , I would give the Bengals an edge, but I’d only favor them by 1-1.5 points. Don’t be surprised if the line moves a point or two by Thursday to make this a pick ‘em. But if history has told us anything, don’t pick Baltimore against a healthy Green and a competent offensive coordinator.
  13. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Bears fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.It’s been a while since the Chicago Bears have been in first place in the NFC North, so it’s understandable that us fans are feeling good about our 2-1 Bears. Even though the defense is carrying the team, head coach Matt Nagy has many of us believing the offense will come through at some point. Even if the offense can only make small gains from a week to week basis, their D looks good enough to give them a chance every single game. The latest FanPulse survey did see Bears’ fan’s confidence levels dip a smidge, but only by 2%. Plus our fans are the most confident among all the NFC North fans at 82%.Here’s our our fans have voted this year.Like we did last week, we’ll take a peek at the confidence levels from the other NFC North teams. The Green Bay Packers lost 31-17 last week to the Washington Redskins, and as expected, their fans are feeling the pressure. The Minnesota Vikings got creamed by the Buffalo Bills last week (27 to 6) and their fans have spiraled into panic mode. The 57% drop in confidence from a week ago was the largest drop among all fans. Plus there’s also the Everson Griffen situation the team is dealing with. The biggest gain in confidence came from fans of the Detroit Lions (+48%) after their big win against the New England Patriots. This week’s Bears vs Buccaneers game will be very telling for fans of each team. The Bucs’ fans are riding high with a 93% confidence level, and that’s coming off a loss. What are your thoughts on these results?If you aren’t a part of WCG’s FanPulse, join now!The Bear’s Den, July 26, 2018 BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!BEARRRSSSS / DRAFT / FREE AGENCYWiederer: What does Roquan Smith’s training-camp absence really mean to the Bears? - Chicago Tribune - The Bears have completed a week of training camp in Bourbonnais. So what have we learned about Roquan Smith’s contract holdout, Mitch Trubisky’s ongoing progress and Kyle Fuller’s emergence? A deeper look at four important Bears questions.Zeglinski: Nagy’s new school approach just what the Bears ordered - The Rock River Times - New schools of thinking in football emphasize teaching, rest, and challenging players in a controlled fashion. To treat professionals like professionals. The old school is in line with a consistent grind, never slowing up or taking the foot off the gas pedal. To work professionals into a metaphorical fine paste by breaking them down and trusting that eventually they’ll be built back up. Of course, they never do.Wiedman: Chicago Bears Training Camp Overview - Our Turf Football - OTFB’s Wanda Wiedmen gives you a quick preview of the Chicago Bears 2018 Training Camp.Mayer's Chalk Talk: How has Amukamara looked? - - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses how cornerback Prince Amukamara has performed in training camp, the likelihood of rookie Kylie Fitts of being part of the rotation at outside linebacker this season and how the Bears have fared in seasons when they playCox: Chicago Bears training camp: Eric Kush keeping James Daniels on bench - Bears Wire - Chicago Bears second-round pick James Daniels has to earn a starting spot on the offensive line, and so far, he remains behind Eric Kush.Neveau: Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky Owns One of NFL's Top-Selling Jerseys - NBC Chicago - Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is hoping to have a big sophomore season on the gridiron Roquan Smith Jersey , and fans are apparently buying into the hype.Letizia: Most Intriguing Chicago Bears Roster Battles to Watch at Camp - Da Bears Brothers - Nearly a week into training camp, there are a handful of position battles that are going to be worth watching unfold throughout the preseason.LeGere: Will Chicago Bears' Kush, Kwiatkoski keep starting jobs? - Daily Herald - Offensive guard Eric Kush and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski have been taking snaps with the starters so far at training camp. But a still unsigned Roquan Smith and injured Danny Trevathan could take eventually take their spots before the season begins.Hub Arkush: Nagy's offense may not be as different as you think - Daily Herald - At the end of the day it sounds like it's not that Nagy's offense is all that different from other NFL teams.Campbell: Heads up NFL rules change presents difficult adjustment period for defenses - Chicago Tribune - Suddenly, parts of a routine play involving a player initiating contact with his helmet could be illegal, drawing a 15-yard penalty. That has left coaches, players and even game officials anxious this preseason to see how the rule will be enforced.Goldman - Bears Best Candidate for a Contract Extension in Training Camp - Bleacher Report - On the surface,NFLtraining camps are all about preparing for the coming season. Teams are focused on developing players, installing schemes and finding the best 53 players to carry into the season...Perez: Two unheralded rookies who are impressing coaches at Bears training camp - NBC Sports Chicago - Chicago Bears rookies Kylie Fitts and Kevin Toliver II are off to a good start in the team's 2018 training camp.Eurich: Roquan Smith joins other all-time Bears holdouts - 247Sports - Roquan Smith needs to get into Chicago Bears camp before suffering the same fate as others before him.Dannehy's Ranking the Entire Bears Roster: Key Contributors (11-39) - Da Bears Blog - Here are players I expect to play quite a bit on offense, defense and/or special teams:Medina: Physically Speaking, Allen Robinson "Feels Fine" and is Having Fun at Bears Camp - The Ten Yard Lines - It's exciting to have Allen Robinson in Bourbonnais.Medina: Eric Kush Has an Early Upper Hand Over Rookie James Daniels to Start at Left Guard - The Ten Yard Line - Eric Kush is a veteran with versatility. James Daniels is a young up-start. Who ya got?Mayer: Trubisky displaying sound fundamentals - - There's a lot to like about how Mitchell Trubisky has performed early in training camp, but coach Matt Nagy has been impressed with the quarterback’s footwork and balance more than anything else.Holdout: Roquan Smith 1 of 3 remaining unsigned draft picks - USA Today - As other rookies sign their contracts, Chicago Bears linebacker Roquan Smith remains one of three unsigned draft picks in the NFL.Neveau: Young Chicago Bears Fan Goes Viral With Emotional Reaction to Getting Tickets - NBC Chicago - There are a few things better in life than getting tickets to a sporting event, and for one young Chicago Bears fan, this fall is going to be a special time.Bernstein: A Fair Expectation For The Bears - 670 The Score - The Bears can start by not being an embarrassment.Bears Training Camp 2018: Josh Bellamy unfazed by competition - Chicago Sun Times - Bears trash-talking wide receiver Josh Bellamy unfazed by upgraded competitionNFL Jersey Sales: Roquan Smith, Mitch Trubisky among Bears hottest players - Chicago Sun Times - Despite Bears first-rounder Roquan Smith's unsigned status, he's still one of the team's most popular players.Telander: Roquan Smith, please sign before Hall of Fame Game - Chicago Sun Times - If Smith doesn’t show up by kickoff, he might be sticking his toe across the threshold into the hall of shame.Gabriel: Many Factors Go Into NFL Teams' Decisions On Final Cuts - 670 The Score - A difficult job for a front office is making the final cuts to get to a 53-man roster.Joniak's Journal: Bears Full Of Confidence In Their Capabilities - 670 The Score - "We're going to be really good," Taylor Gabriel told Eddie Jackson.Hoge’s 10 Bears Things: It’s Trubisky’s Team Now - WGN Radio - At first, it seemed odd that Mitch Trubisky’s first press conference of training camp was conducted alongside Kyle Fuller, the soft-spoken cornerback who surely wouldn’t get more than a handful of questions sitting next to the Bears’ star quarterback. And yet it was Fuller who ended up saying the most, during a moment when he actually wasn’t saying anything at all.POLISH SAUSAGECameron Meredith avoids PUP, though Saints will be “smart” in his return – ProFootballTalk - Saints receiver Cameron Meredith is healthy and ready for training camp, Sean Payton announced Wednesday. “He’s going to go and practice Authentic Allen Robinson Jersey , and yet we’ll be smart [about his workload],” Payton said, via Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune.KNOW THY ENEMYDetroit Lions reportedly sign DT Ricky Jean Francois to 1-year deal - Pride Of Detroit - The Lions got the deal done this time.Pat Elflein To Start Minnesota Vikings Training Camp On PUP List - Daily Norseman - The fractured ankle he suffered in the NFC Championship Game will keep him out of the start of camp.Packers place Nick Perry, Bryan Bulaga on PUP list - Acme Packing Company - Bulaga was expected to start camp on the list, but Perry’s appearance is a surpriseIN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRONBerkes: Fantasy Files - NFC West Divisional Preview - Windy City Gridiron - Two of the best running backs reside in this division but there is plenty of talent across the board in the NFC WestLemming: Eddie Goldman - Possible camp Bears extension? - Windy City Gridiron - General manager Ryan Pace has handed out three pre-week-one extensions since 2016. Could Goldman continue the trend?Wiltfong: Mitchell Trubisky has the highest selling jersey in the NFC North - Windy City Gridiron - According to the latest jersey report from Dick’s Sporting Goods, Chicago Bears’ quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has the highest selling jersey among all four teams in the NFC North. He not only...Wiltfong: Chicago Bears Training Camp Recap - Windy City Gridiron - In Lester’s latest T Formation Conversation podcast, he was joined by WCG’s very own Robert Zeglinski, who has been on the ground at Olivet Nazarene University taking in Bears’ camp first hand.WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS2 Minute Drill - Website - iTunes - Andrew Link; Steven’s Streaming – Twitch – Steven Schweickert; T-Formation Conversation - Website - iTunes - Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; WCG Radio - Website - Robert ZeglinskiTHE RULESWindy City Gridiron Community Guidelines - - We strive to make our communities open and inclusive to sports fans of all backgrounds. The following is not permitted in comments, FanPosts, usernames or anywhere else in an SB Nation community: Comments, FanPosts or usernames that are intolerant or prejudiced; racial or other offensive epithets; Personal attacks or threats on community members; Gendered insults of any kind; Trolling; Click link for full information.The Bear’s Den Specific Guidelines – The Bear’s Den is a place for Chicago Bears fans to discuss Chicago Bears football, related NFL stories, and general football talk. It is NOT a place to discuss religion or politics or post political pictures or memes, and any posts that do this will be deleted and the poster will be admonished. We do not allow comments posted where the apparent attempt is to cause confrontation in the community. We do not allow gender-directed humor or sexual assault jokes. The staff of WCG are the sole arbiters of what constitutes “apparent attempt to cause confrontation”. We do not allow the “calling out” of other members in any way, shape or form. Posts that do this will be deleted on sight. Bottom line, it’s fine to debate about football, but personal jabs and insults are strictly prohibited. Additionally, if you keep beating the same dead horse over and over and fail to heed a moderator’s warning to stop, you will be banned.Click on our names to follow us on Twitter:WCG Contributors: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter;Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Andrew Link; Ken Mitchell; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Robert Zeglinski; Like us on Facebook.
  14. The Dallas quarterback threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Tavon Austin on the third play of the game and the Cowboys sacked Eli Manning six times in a 20-13 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday night.The Leighton Vander Esch Jersey Dallas defense was strong again Dallas Cowboys Hats , just as in an opening loss at Carolina, as the Cowboys (1-1) avoided the first 0-2 start in seven seasons under coach Jason Garrett.Manning and the Giants have started 0-2 for the fifth time in the past six seasons.After saying "challenge accepted" during the week to Giants safety Landon Collins' suggestion that New York had a better chance by forcing Prescott to throw, the 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year hit Austin in stride behind cornerback Janoris Jenkins. The speedy receiver cut back to his right before trotting across the goal line at an angle."We definitely hear that," Prescott said. "I kind of said the challenge accepted, I said I accepted it. But I can tell you I wasn't the only one who accepted that challenge. This team accepted it. That offense accepted it. We wanted to go out there and just show you guys."Dallas running back Ezekiel Elliott outgained Saquon Barkley in the first meeting in the pros between the former college rivals and high NFL draft picks. Elliott, who starred at Ohio State, rushed for 78 yards with a touchdown. Barkley, from Penn State, had just 28.Even Prescott outrushed Barkley Dallas Cowboys Hoodie , finishing with a career-high 45 yards on the ground while throwing for 160.Brett Maher had the first two field goals of his NFL career, including a 29-yarder after Damien Wilson forced a fumble on a sack of Manning and Taco Charlton recovered.The Cowboys shared the wealth on the sacks, with six different players recording a sack apiece: the linebacker Wilson, safety Kavon Frazier and defensive linemen Charlton, DeMarcus Lawrence, Antwaun Woods and Tyrone Crawford."He's been in this league for a long time, he can read defenses, and to shake him up a little bit is always good," Crawford said.The Giants had questions with the offensive front Customized Dallas Cowboys Jerseys , and they'll only grow after Manning finished two sacks shy of the most in his career. New York also lost center Jon Halapio, who was carted off with an air cast on his right leg in the third quarter.Manning converted a pair of fourth downs on sneaks, but the sacks helped keep the Giants from converting those into points. He was even hammered when he wasn't behind the line of scrimmage — on a hit by linebacker Jaylon Smith on a 1-yard gain before New York's first points on Aldrick Rosas' 28-yard field goal late in the third quarter."Eli's confident," coach Pat Shurmur said. "He's a pro and he battled throughout the game and I thought he did a good job. I sense confidence, yes."Prescott fooled the New York defense several times with fake handoffs to Elliott on keepers around end. The longest was a 15-yarder on Dallas' second possession, leading to Maher's first NFL field goal from 37 yards.For the second straight week, the Giants didn't get a touchdown until the fourth quarter. New York made it interesting when Michael Thomas recovered an onside kick after Manning's 18-yard scoring pass to Evan Engram with 1:27 remaining.The Giants settled for Rosas' 38-yard field goal to get within a touchdown with 11 seconds remaining, but the next onside kick went out of bounds.Manning finished 33 of 44 for 279 yards. Austin had two catches and led Dallas with 79 yards receiving.AIR TIMEAlthough Barkley was stifled in the running game, he led everybody with 14 catches for 80 yards. Odell Beckham Jr. had four grabs for 51 yards. Engram added seven for 67. "They just did a good job just getting some pressure and not getting a whole lot of time to get the ball down the field ," Manning said.STILL TOUGH SLEDDINGThe quick strike in the passing game still didn't make life very easy on Elliott. He struggled to find much room outside of a 19-yarder on the second scoring drive. The touchdown was a churning 6-yard run for a 20-3 lead with 5:45 remaining.DELAYED DEBUTDallas tight end Rico Gathers was active for the first time in his third NFL season. The former Baylor basketball player was open in the end zone on one play, but Prescott overthrew him when pressure came. Gathers was targeted twice without a catch.INJURIESGiants: Punt returner Kaelin Clay injured an ankle in the second quarter and didn't return. He had another adventurous moment a week after his late muff cost the Giants a chance to rally against Jacksonville. He was indecisive on a punt, which bounced in front of and straight into him. He hung on to the ball. ... Eli Apple was sidelined in the second half because of a groin injury.Cowboys: LB Sean Lee was held out late with a sore hamstring, but coach Jason Garrett said he could have returned and should be fine next week.UP NEXTGiants: Another Texas trip to Houston.Cowboys: At Seattle.Cowboys news: Cowboys plan to “sling it” against #1 rated Lions passing defense? Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott needs to 'start slinging it around' - Todd Archer- ESPNQB Prescott and OC Scott Linehan have a plan to get the passing offense going with a few more "wrinkles".Will Cowboys offense 'start slinging it around' against first-ranked Detroit secondary?-David Moore- SportsDayThe Lions have been pretty great at stopping passing offenses and pretty poor at stopping the run. Apparently the Cowboys plan to sling it around, let's see if the bold strategy works.Here’s where Cowboys could have biggest advantage Sunday vs. Detroit -Jon Machota SportsDayCowboys should rethink “slinging it around” when they can pound it on the ground.Dak Prescott: Offense’s Issues A ‘Collection Of Execution’- Rob Phillips- Dallas CowboysDak Prescott and his teammates believe that they have been the biggest failures in the offense and plan to execute better.The Dallas Cowboys Have Lost Their Identity -Robert Mays- The RingerCould a lack of play-action be a reason the Cowboys offense has such trouble returning to 2016 form?Cowboys point/counterpoint: Is biggest problem coaching or execution? -Tom Ryle & Michael Strawn- Blogging The BoysA debate on the state of the Cowboys. Who’s really causing these offensive catastrophes?Dallas Cowboys: Playoff odds depend on Detroit Lions game -Peter Dawson- Fort Worth Star-TelegramHow important is a Cowboys win on Sunday? Here's what the odds say about their postseason possibilities.Writer’s Blocks: Zeke's 30% of Cowboys offense, improved passing will improve everything- David Helman-Dallas CowboysEzekiel Elliott is already a huge part of the offense but when one side isn't working, it affects everything.Dallas Cowboys: Will RB Ezekiel Elliott ask for more carries? -Clarence Hill- Fort Worth Star-TelegramEzekiel Elliott says he doesn't necessarily need more carries but the team just has to be better on offense.Should the Dallas Cowboys have any interest in newly-released WR Rishard Matthews? - Cole Patterson-Blogging The BoysAn interesting wide receiver hit the market on Thursday. Should the Cowboys add him to their crowded room?
  15. There’s something strange going on with respect to how people view the 2018 Los Angeles Rams and I’m not just talking about the fact that for the first time in a long Youth Andrew Whitworth Jersey , long, long time, people actually expect us to win.It’s how much they expect us to win. And how nearly unanimous that expectation is.In our final staff predictions for the 2018 season, every single one of us had the Rams winning games in the double digits. Even more, an overwhelming majority (biased though we are) had us winning at least 13 games. In nearly every season preview that included a win-loss projection, the Rams were coming up with 10 or 11 or 12 or 13 wins.So it’s not limited just to inside our bubble. Everyone is looking at 10+ wins.Which is very, very, very strange since the over/under that was coming out of Vegas and online bookmakers was right around 9.5 or 10 wins. Which means that there’s money backing up the under.There just aren’t any voices saying so.This was Rich Hammond just yesterday:Why did Hammond take any heat for an 11-win season? The obvious answer is that Rams fans are overwhelmingly excited by the prospects of the 2018 season. But it’s also clear that they’re being incited by a national referendum on the Rams that has avoided even the possibility of ending up with single-digit wins.Consider this piece from Sports Illustrated’s Max Meyer, the only piece I’ve seen from the offseason that seriously considered taking the under (which is exactly what he does at 9.5 wins).On the coaching changes that saw former Rams Offensive Coordinator Matt LaFleur take the same job title, albeit with broader responsibilities, with the Tennessee Titans while the Rams’ 2017 quarterbacks coach, Greg Olson, took a promotion to become the OC with the Oakland Raiders:On the offensive line and field position:And the competitive balance of the NFC:Now look, I’m not about to change my 12-4 prediction or anything like that. Obviously, this isn’t a season to be necessarily hesitant to support. The starting roster is stacked. Last season was a blessing.But I find it unusually strange not that fans and media are excited about the Rams’ 2018 season, but the near unanimity supporting the Rams this year.NFL seasons are Womens Rodger Saffold Jersey , as last year proved yet again as they tend to every year, weird. They’re unpredictable. There are Los Angeles Rams and Jacksonville Jaguars teams that take a jump forward. There are Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans teams that looked set up for success that were felled by injury. And there were Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants and Oakland Raiders teams that just fell below the bar for various reasons.Which is why I find it so odd that nearly everyone...nearly EVERYONE is backing the Rams to manage the process, to navigate the weirdness successfully.It’s heartening, sure. But it’s also piling on to those lofty expectations that have been building since February.Buckle the hell up, Rams fans... Von Miller might be the only one at Denver Broncos headquarters lamenting Khalil Mack's startling trade from the Oakland Raiders to the Chicago Bears."I mean, honestly, I was shocked," Miller said. "I always felt like Khalil and Aaron Donald were untradeable guys. J.J. Watt, I thought guys like that were untradeable. Then they traded him. A guy like Khalil, he only comes around once every lifetime. You want to keep guys like that."The Broncos' star linebacker said it's "going to be a little weird" Sunday not seeing his friend, whom he's trained with the last two summers, when the Raiders (0-1) visit Denver (1-0), where Mack once collected five sacks in a single half."He's talented," Broncos QB Case Keenum said, "but I'm pretty sure they're going to play 11 guys. They're not just going to put 10 out there without him."Raiders new/old coach Jon Gruden said he's been asked aplenty about the trade that sent shockwaves through the NFL and smiles across locker rooms across the AFC West."And rightfully so," Gruden said. "He's a great guy. He's a great player. It's unfortunate we don't have him. But we feel we did the right thing for this football team , for the future of the Raiders and for this building process."I know we've got to prove it. But so does he."Mack began doing just that Sunday night at Green Bay , fresh off signing a six-year, $141 million contract, $26.5 million more than Miller got in 2016 in the shadows of his Super Bowl 50 MVP performance.Hours after Miller wrecked Seattle's game plan by sacking Russell Wilson three times and snaring the ball out of power back Chris Carson's arms for a forced fumble and fumble recovery, Mack burst into the NFC North conversation with a pick-6 and a strip sack of backup QB DeShone Kizer in which he, too, snatched the ball from his opponent.Whereas Miller's showing led to a 27-24 Denver victory, Mack's dominant debut was rendered a footnote when Aaron Rodgers returned from a knee injury at halftime to lead the Packers back from a 20-point deficit for a 24-23 win.One night later, the Raiders lost 33-13 to the Rams, barely touching quarterback Jared Goff just over a week after trading their star pass rusher to the Bears for a package that included two first-round picks. Bruce Irvin had the only sack when Goff held the ball too long.Mack is still on the Raiders' minds.Quarterback Derek Carr said he misses his friendship more than his play on the field."We still text, and we still talk all the time, but not seeing him every day is weird," Carr said. "I think that was the hardest part."Other subplots as the Broncos seek their sixth straight 2-0 start:KING STINGBroncos punter Marquette King didn't want to talk about Gruden this week, but he made it clear he had hard feelings over his release from the Raiders this spring.He said he never had a chance to speak with Oakland's coach before getting jettisoned."I just saw him on car commercials and stuff," King said. "I get to see him two times a year."And that was certainly a factor in King's decision to come to Denver."I just wanted to find the best place that I thought I would fit," King said. "I think there is somewhat of a revenge factor in there , too."BRYANT BACKBroncos coach Vance Joseph said Martavis Bryant's re-signing with Oakland only adds to Denver's already stiff challenge Sunday."Absolutely. He's a guy that's a vertical threat. I faced him in Cincinnati when he was in Pittsburgh for six games. He caught a 98-yard touchdown on my secondary, so I won't ever forget that," Joseph said.PRESSURE POINTAfter trading Mack, there were questions about how the Raiders would generate a pass rush. The results weren't good in the opener as Oakland had one sack and four quarterback pressures against the Rams.The Raiders had more pressures in every game last year with Mack leading the defense.Gruden said playing better defense on first and second down will give Bruce Irvin and Arden Key more chances to get to the QB on third down."You have to get them on third-and-long when you can cut loose your blitzes and some of your great rushers," he said.HOUSE OF HORRORSGruden has had little success in Denver in his career, losing all five trips to the Mile High City. Gruden lost every year with Oakland from 1998-2001, and again with Tampa Bay in his final year as a coach there in 2008.In all, Gruden's teams are 1-9 against the Broncos, with the one win coming in Oakland in 2001. The Raiders won 38-28 on Nov. 5, 2001, behind three TD passes by Rich Gannon.He has fond memories of that lone victory over Denver."That was the greatest win of my career as the Raiders coach, beating the Broncos," Gruden said, "because I knew how far we'd come in just a few years."