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  1. 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.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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."
  12. Over the last four and a half years, I have had the great pleasure to write covering the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams. Never in a million years did I see this coming. It was never a goal or my intent, but it just kind of worked out that way.I am beyond Los Angeles Rams T-Shirt grateful for the opportunity that was presented to me. I remember it like it was yesterday. Turf Show Times was looking to expand on its staff, and Doug (Morrison) reached out to me. He sent me an email and the conversation went from there. Initially I was opposed to the idea. I enjoyed writing and football. I would blog randomly, but it was just about the fun. My fear was if I made it a task, I would hate it. Doug disagreed.I'm glad he did, because he was absolutely correct. Writing for TST took my love to new heights. As time went on, I gained more and more opportunities and eventually became the host of the #1 Rams podcast in the world, Turf Show Radio.Words will never express how appreciative I am of Doug, Ryan Van Bibber, Joe McAtee and Brandon Bate. And I can't forget about the amazing staff I have had the privilege to work with over the years. All 6 Los Angeles Rams Hats ,000 of you guys. You guys are the best. We have had some amazing conversations both on the site and in our staff chats.I came here on my own just wanting to enjoy good conversation about my beloved Rams team. I ended up joining an amazing staff, and making a lot of friends in the process.I will no longer be apart of this amazing staff. I will still be around popping up in the comments from time to time and maybe even dropping a FanPost here and there, but my time has come to an end. It’s a very emotional moment as I love talking to you guys more than you will ever know.No matter how much we have argued or agreed over the years, I have truly appreciated the feedback, support and criticism from you all. Without readers, there is no TST. I always tried to take everything you guys offered and apply it to future writings. I took so much pride in my work, and you all were the driving force for that pride. I thank you all for even entertaining my posts over the years. You guys made it easy to write here on the site and talk football on the pod.I love my Rams fan brethren. Who knows, it's entirely possible I make a return down the line. But for now and the foreseeable future, this will be my last post. I just wanted to tell you guys, THANK YOU. Go Rams!!!!!!!!! Best Overreaction:Robert Woods proved that his contract is a steal as he filled in as slot receiverWhen WR Cooper Kupp went out of the game due to a concussion, the Los Angeles Rams were already short at receiver with WR Brandin Cooks already out due to his nasty collision at the end of the second half. Rather than just stay at his position as a wideout, Woods stepped in and did his best Cooper Kupp impression Los Angeles Rams Hoodie , nailing inside routes like it was no big deal. Mr. Woods has always been known as an excellent route runner, but his performance on Sunday proved that he’s much more valuable than his contract suggests (which was considered to be a reach at the time!)Worst Overreaction:S Tedric Thompson should have been ejected for the Brandin Cooks hit Complaining about the refs is an age old tradition for football fans, but it’s usually saved for when their team loses. In this case, it was in defense for the LA Rams’ star wideout, Brandin’ Cooks, who missed the second half due to this play. I don’t think Thompson’s hit was dirty, it’s just that his speed going into the tackle made the collision violent and unfortunate for our player. There were several brutal hits during the game (and every game played on Sunday), but just because it led to Cooks lying unconscious for a moment, doesn’t mean Tedric Thompson is to blame.
  13. Here were Andy Reid’s brief statements on the injuries after the game:LG Cam ErvingErving reportedly came out of the game due to a problem with his shoulder.“He just dinged his shoulder a bit ,” Reid said. “He’s all right.” WR Tyreek Hill“Tyreek (Hill) strained his groin,” Reid said. “We will just see how he does here.”It’s worth noting that after the game, Hill was healthy enough to throw on this sumo wrestler costume: I would guess that he is OK.LB Anthony HitchensMark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports“Anthony Hitchens got hit in the ribs with a helmet,” Reid said. “We will see how he does as we go forward.”LB Frank ZomboIsaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports“Frank Zombo’s left hamstring was tweaked. We will just see how he does here over the next little bit.”Justin Houston on new rule: “We’ll be playing flag football after a while” The Kansas City Chiefs were the latest recipients of a preseason penalty flag due to some rule changes from this offseason on Saturday afternoon.Outside linebacker Tanoh Kpassagnon likely had the best hit of his career Youth Patrick Mahomes II Jersey , preseason or otherwise, when he sacked Bears quarterback Chase Daniel in the second quarter. Here was the play (from a couple angles):The referees threw a flag on Kpassagnon for rouging the passer, and the play was negated. After the game, Brooke Pryor of the Kansas City Star asked Kpassagnon’s fellow Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston about the play.According to Houston White Eric Murray Jersey , the referees cited the league’s offseason rule changes when calling the penalty. Here is the change, via the NFL’s football operations website:I have a little bit of a different take on this play based upon what I have seen on social media. Watching the play, Kpassagnon does indeed land on Daniel, and under the new language Youth Justin Houston Jersey , did deserve a flag. The problem here should not with the officials, who called it by the new book on Saturday. It should be with the rule. As this new rule stands, defensive players will be forced to slow down so that landing on opposing quarterbacks doesn’t happen. Quicker quarterbacks (like those not named Chase Daniel) may use that time to evade the sack.This is not a good rule and needs to be readdressed as soon as possible.
  14. In a corresponding move, the vacated roster spot will be filled by cornerback Tony Brown, who was elevated from the practice squad today. Brown, an undrafted rookie, spent the summer with the Los Angeles Chargers before being waived and signed to the Packers practice squad earlier this month. The 6-foot, 198-pound defensive back is an elite athlete, as evidenced by his collegiate track and field success. Coming out of Alabama, Brown projected as a nickel or hybrid corner who could be utilized in run support, with the added bonus of special teams experience. He’s a willing tackler with 4.35 speed, making him an intriguing prospect for defensive coordinator Mike Pettine. Filling Brown’s spot on the practice squad will be defensive lineman Deon Simon, a journeyman nose tackle who has spent time with the New York Jets and Tennessee Titans.Packers-Titans Fantasy Reaction: Adams & MVS trend up, Montgomery trends down The Green Bay Packers got their first taste of preseason action Thursday against the Tennessee Titans and while Aaron Rodgers, Jimmy Graham and Randall Cobb sat out, there was still plenty of fantasy implications to look at. With a mixed bag of starters and reserves, the preseason games can be a critical time for a player’s stock to rise or fall. Also, with only one cut down from a 90 to a 53-man roster Cheap Jaire Alexander Jersey , every play counts.Keep in mind that after one preseason game, someone’s stock rising doesn’t mean you should add them to your big board and vice versa.Stock UpDavante Adams, WRDavante Adams is going to be a WR1 you definitely want this year. He has the most chemistry with Aaron Rodgers of any pass catchers on the roster and on Thursday night, he proved the NFL isn’t ready for how good he’s going to be. He only played during the first quarter, but the deep ball he reeled in along the left sideline over Malcolm Butler looked purely effortless, from the route through the catch.His current average draft position puts him as the sixth WR to be taken in fantasy, leaving Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr., Julio Jones and Michael Thomas ahead of him. I’m not sure I like Jones and Thomas ahead of him. Time will tell.Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WRMVS finished with five catches, 101 yards, and a TD which is an exciting stat line, even in a preseason game. He looked like he was going to leave scorch marks on the grass. The Packers drafted him as an option to help stretch the field and he was also returning kicks to the tune of 20 yards a pop. He looked controlled while hauling in a 51-yard bomb and didn’t over run the ball which was nice to see. Not long after that, Valdes-Scantling caught a 15-yard touchdown while the defenders arm was still tangled up between his own. It’s tough not to overreact, but this good be a great stepping stone for MVS to build on. Jamaal Williams, RBAaron Jones is out for the first two games of the regular season with a suspension Nick Perry Jersey , so that left Jamaal Williams and Ty Montgomery in the race to earn the starting spot for Week 1. During this preseason game against Tennessee, it looked fairly evident that Williams was going to be the guy. He outpaced Montgomery in touches and remained a factor in the passing game, scoring on a nifty eight-yard TD reception. Running largely behind a backup offensive line, Williams had a tough time finding big holes to run through. Hopefully this improves.Stock DownTy Montgomery, RBThis goes without saying since I have Williams’ stock up, but I’m going to say it anyway. Montgomery didn’t get a whole lot of rushing opportunities and had zero catches on two targets. I thought he might see more time as a pass-catching option — considering he used to be a wide out — but the Packers were more preoccupied with their young receivers getting targets. Montgomery outpaced Williams in snap count 29 to 13, but his highlight of the night was in pass protection and really sticking a blitzing linebacker.J’Mon Moore, WRMoore was the first receiver taken by the Packers in the 2018 draft, but he didn’t stand out in this game. He was targeted seven times, but only brought in three of those targets for 27 yards. There were a few times in which Moore was in a good position to make a play on the ball, but just wasn’t able to get it done. It’s only one preseason game and it very well could’ve been jitters. We’ll keep an eye on him. DeAngelo Yancey, WRYancey is in his second year and spent last season on the practice squad. He’s someone who needs to have a big offseason and produce in both preseason games and during practice. This game wasn’t a big showcase for him (two catches on five targets for 10 yards), so if you’re big on Yancey, you need to hope that he continues to make strides in practice.
  15. After two years of disappointment and an offseason full of adjustments Womens Ryan Glasgow Jersey , the Cincinnati Bengals are take the field for real on Sunday, after what seems like an eternity. And, in a twist only Who Dey Nation can relate to, the team is playing the Indianapolis Colts for the second time in as many weeks.With such a quick rematch comes many questions. For the Bengals, it’s about just how much they’ve improved this offseason. They have made major strides to bolster both their roster and their coaching staff. The turnover in both departments may have not moved the needle very much from a national perspective, but they have a very different look as they look to take the field on Sunday. Quarterback Andy Dalton has to be one of the happiest players on the Bengals’ roster at the moment. The team has re-committed to surrounding him with talent on the unit in which he is in charge. Cincinnati made two major moves to bolster their offensive line, with four new starters up front than that of just a year ago. Dalton is also getting a healthy Tyler Eifert and John Ross back to throw to, and we know what kind of quarterback No. 14 can be with a loaded arsenal. 2015, anyone?Still, both the Bengals and the Colts have quite a few similarities, especially in those aforementioned questions, as they clash once again in Week 1. Both offensive lines have been in a state of upheaval, new coaches litter both staffs and questions about the veterans they have kept are plentiful. The main players under the microscope this week are definitely the quarterbacks. Dalton continues to have his share of critics and disbelievers, while Andrew Luck is attempting to resurrect his career after more than a year on the sidelines with a shoulder injury. However, a number of other “ancillary players” are also sharing center stage. Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson are all still allowing the ink to dry for their respective recent deals, with Johnson’s situation being truly an interesting one. Carl Lawson, Sam Hubbard and Jordan Willis will help to round out the pass-rushing crew for the Bengals as the unit’s young guns of the gruop. Cincinnati’s defense was ninth in the NFL preseason in quarterback sacks, which was one of the major reasons for a near-perfect record this August. It’s a trend they hope to continue with Luck, who may be skittish—both because of his injury and a patchwork offensive line. However, one of the other similarities we mentioned before is in defending the pass. Yes, we can’t take preseason statistics as scripture, but a No. 28 ranking in that category this summer has to be worrisome to the Bengals. And, while the team has seemingly cleaned up many issues that plagued them last year, the covering of tight ends by the back seven defenders seems to be a prevailing ailment. Indianapolis employs two capable players at the position in Jack Doyle and Eric Ebron. Oh, and Doyle had quite the stat line against the Bengals last year with 12 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown reception. Should we let bygones be bygones, though?I’ve wavered back-and-forth on the outcome of this game. When it comes to the Cincinnati Bengals, it’s easy to be a stone-cold cynic and those old feelings from following this franchise for 30 years are easy to come by. In that vein, it’s becomes second-nature to concoct a visualization of Luck coming back from injury and torturing the Bengals as he did a few years earlier in the 2014 Wild Card round. The NFL loves a good story line, and few Week 1 narratives would have the gravitas of Luck coming back to an NFL game after being away for over a year and mopping the floor with an AFC contemporary. Season-openers haven’t really been kind to Lewis and the Bengals over the past 15 years. The embattled head coach has a 7-8 record on opening weekend, with five of those eight losses being either complete blowouts (2017 and 2012 against the Ravens Womens Ryan Glasgow Jersey , for instance), and others being complete Bengals-like heart-breakers (2009 at home against Denver). One thing the Bengals fan base doesn’t employ is short-term memory. These losses and the recent playoff failures continue to stick in the team’s faithful like a bunch of irritated splinters. However, it’s finally time to start fresh for all of us in Bengaldom. Long gone is the 2015 Wild Card disaster, and though some of the major figureheads from that debacle remain, things have a different feel this season. After an offseason filled with lowered expectations for the club, the tide has begun to change a bit. Sure, fan optimism is high after a nearly-undefeated preseason, but we also have CBS Sports’ John Breech proclaiming the Bengals a playoff winner, as well as Bleacher Report calling them a “sleeper team” recently (the Colts are on the list as well), so maybe we aren’t having as much tunnel vision as originally thought. Look, Luck is a former No. 1 overall pick and he’s still a massively-skilled player. There’s a debate as to if and how his style of play will change because of the shoulder injury from the end of 2016. Take these diametrically-opposing anonymous opinions from a recent column regarding Luck via Matt Miller of B/R:As for what the Colts believe at the moment with their prized signal-caller?In Week 1, for reasons ranging from rust to a seemingly-furious Bengals pass-rush, Luck will probably look like a guy in between these two reports. For these reasons, I think the Bengals squeak past the Colts, as they begin a potential trek towards redemption. Did we mention that 2018 is the 30-year anniversary of their last Super Bowl appearance?Nah—let’s not get crazy, yet.Bengals 27, Colts 23AC — My shoulder feels fine, FYI. When the NFL released the schedule back in April shortly before the draft, opinions were mixed on how the Cincinnati Bengals would fare in 2018. With the return of Marvin Lewis and the team coming off of two straight losing seasons, the talking heads had the team as a six-win club. But, after the draft and once folks started seeing this year’s team in practices, the national perception changed. Folks began believing this could be a competitive squad this year and their 5-3 start has proved them correct. Right after the schedule release, we made an early prediction of our own on how the Bengals’ season would go. For review, here are the results we had penciled in for the first half of the season:At Colts: WinRavens: WinAt Panthers: LossAt Falcons: LossDolphins: WinSteelers: WinAt Chiefs: LossBuccaneers: WinSo, while we were incorrect on the results in the Pittsburgh and Atlanta contests, our early guess on the 5-3 record before the midway bye rung true. Back in April, we guessed that the second half of the season would lead to a 4-4 record and, ultimately, a 9-7 finish where the team sniffed the postseason. So, now that we have a sample size of half of a regular season, are there changes? Are nine wins enough to get the Bengals to the postseason this year?There is an unfortunate caveat to these win-loss predictions: injuries. It would seem that Billy Price Womens Jordan Evans Jersey , Giovani Bernard, Tyler Kroft, John Ross and Nick Vigil should be returning to the lineup soon, which will be a nice boost for the team down the stretch. However, one of their best players, A.J. Green, is battling a toe/foot injury and his long-term status is a bit uncertain. Because of the recent prognosis of his not needing surgery, we’re going with the prevailing thought that Green won’t be available for the next two games.We discussed the possible outlook of the rest of 2018 on this week’s Orange and Black Insider podcast, and we figured we’d re-hash the discussion here as well. Week 10, Saints at Bengals: Unfortunately, the Teryl Austin effect has been a negative one on the Bengals’ defense. Since he took over for Paul Guenther, Austin’s defense is ranked dead-last in overall defense and passing defense, while ranking 26th against the run. While Drew Brees and Co. are more comfortable in a dome, this matchup doesn’t bode well for the Bengals next week. New Orleans boasts the 9th ranked passing offense and 17th rated rushing attack. This will either be a blowout, or New Orleans will come into Cincinnati a bit exhausted having spent a massive amount of effort and emotion in beating the Rams in Week 9. We’re sticking with a loss here, though. Result: LossWeek 11, Bengals at Ravens: This contest is one that is so topsy-turvy that it becomes hard to predict. Just as Pittsburgh is Cincinnati’s kryptonite, the Bengals often get the best of the Ravens. An idea of a different Bengals team emerged after they took care of a solid Baltimore squad on national television. Some of that luster has dissipated with losses to the Steelers and Chiefs, but Lewis does have a 19-12 record against his former employers. It’s possible the Bengals pull out a sweep this year, as the Ravens are even more Jekyll-and-Hyde than Cincinnati this year, but we’ll go with the series being split. We especially feel this way if Green, the perennial Raven-killer, is sidelined as it appears that that is going to be the case. Result: LossWeek 12, Browns at Bengals: This one will be interesting, as Cleveland has proven to be scrappier than their 2-5-1 record would indicate. They’ve fired Hue Jackson and Gregg Williams comes in as the interim head coach. Can he inspire a late-season turnaround to respectability?The Browns have also made a change at quarterback, as Baker Mayfield is now the unquestioned starter. The “Battle of Ohio” may be headed to a split this year, but I’m not so sure. In Williams’ debut as head coach, Cleveland got predictably stomped by Kansas City.Result: WinWeek 13 Broncos at Bengals: This matchup has had its tugs-of-war in recent years, but Case Keenum doesn’t seem to be the long-term answer at quarterback for Denver. The Broncos are 3-6 and don’t have a ton of signs of trending upward. One wild card in this matchup is the tandem of Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. The former has nine sacks this year, while Chubb is a Defensive Rookie of the Year candidate with eight sacks of his own. Can the Bengals’ inconsistent offensive line rise up to the challenge? We think they will as Denver keeps finding ways to lose close games. Result: WinWeek 14, Bengals at Chargers: Under Lewis , the Bengals are actually 5-3 against the Chargers. Believe it or not, Cincinnati is actually 3-1 when traveling to the west coast to face the Chargers under their long-tenured head coach. Most look at this and automatically see a loss for Cincinnati, which is understandable given the Chargers’ 6-2 record. Los Angeles has a solid roster this season, but they do have weaknesses that can be exploited. Still, with the Bengals dealing with so many injuries and their defense underwhelming right now, the Chargers could start to tip the recent record scale back to being close to even. Result: LossWeek 15, Raiders at Bengals: Initially, this seemed like a really tough matchup on the schedule. Oakland made a needed change at head coach, and most thought that Jon Gruden would bring his quarterback whisperer skills to fix Derek Carr. Well, it’s been an absolute dumpster fire for the Raiders this year, starting 1-7 and being recently embarrassed on Thursday Night Football. Cincinnati should cruise to a comfortable win here without many problems. Result: WinWeek 16, Bengals at Browns: I really am tempted to give the Browns a win in the series this year, but I’m not as big of a believer in Mayfield as most folks seem to be. I still think they are a year away from truly being competitive in the division. Even so, we expect these two games will probably be frustrating for Bengals fans to watch, in terms of performance and them being close contests, even if they end up both being wins for Cincinnati. Result: WinWeek 17 Bengals at Steelers: Something tells me that this one will have some major implications going into January. Pittsburgh still has bragging rights over the Bengals after a last-second comeback win at Paul Brown Stadium, but they’ve shown major warts and have a pretty tough back half of the schedule (Ravens, Chargers, Patriots and Saints).Pittsburgh just secured a huge win over the Ravens in Baltimore, pushing them further down the playoff pecking order at 4-5, and stomped the Panthers on Thursday Night Football. If Cincinnati can get a win in Maryland of their own in Week 11, the Ravens’ postseason hopes will essentially be dead. Of Cincinnati’s eight meager wins against Pittsburgh in the Lewis era, six have inexplicably come at Heinz Field. I guess that plays a little into Cincinnati’s corner here, but common logic just doesn’t point to the Bengals pulling out a massive win against their bitter rivals to potentially put them into the playoffs, or give them better seeding.Result: LossEnd record: 9-7 — Wild Card berthIf you’re unable to join us live for here at Cincy Jungle or YouTube every episode, all Orange and Black Insider content is available here on CJ, as well as on our SoundCloud, Stitcher, through the Google Play Music app and YouTube channels, ART19 as well as on iTunes! You can tweet us @BengalsOBI or get in touch with us via email at Thanks for listening and go subscribe to our channels!
  16. The Los Angeles Rams are set to host the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2 in the 2018 regular season home opener without ILB Mark Barron who is listed DOUBTFUL on the final injury report:2018 LA Rams Week 2 injury reportNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusNo issue for RB Todd Gurley who was back in the mix yesterday. And WR Mike Thomas is going to be out of commission for a bit following injuries in Week 1 to both him and WR/KR/PR Pharoh Cooper who was placed on IR.As for the Cards , they’ve got bigger issues:2018 Arizona Cardinals Week 2 injury reportNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusNamePOSInjuryWed. StatusThu. StatusFri. StatusGame StatusStarting RT Andre Smith injured his elbow in their season opener and is a no go. And starters TE Jermaine Gresham, LB Haason Reddick and DE Markus Golden are all gametime decisions.We’ll have to see if Barron can make a surprise return (if he’s even allowed to) and which of Arizona’s QUESTIONABLE trio will be a go.Week 3 NFL-wide headlines WR Josh Gordon is traded to the New England PatriotsDeath, taxes, and theNew England Patriots...It was a roller coaster weekend for Gordon. It was announced on Saturday that he would be inactive for the Brown’s week 2 game against the New Orleans Saints with no prior injury designation during the week. Then it was also announced that the Browns would be releasing Gordon by Monday. Due to Gordon’s past, fan speculation was that he had failed yet another drug test. It was later announced that Gordon suffered a hamstring injury during a photoshoot, which seems like an extremely Cleveland Browns thing. But from the moment the Browns let their intentions known, they had dance partners for a trade. The Browns also sent a 7th-round pick to the Patriots, who are handing back a 5th-round pick. And because time is flat circle, the Patriots fittingly released WR Corey Coleman to make room for Gordon. Coleman was traded from the Browns earlier in the preseason to make room for Gordon on the roster.QB Carson Wentz cleared to playThe news couldn’t have come at a better time for the defending champion Philadelphia Eagles.On the heels of a surprising loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles is ranked 23rd among quarterbacks with a 61.1 rating on Pro Football Focus. Wentz, who tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams in December, was a large part of the reason the Eagles went off to an 11-2 start before being forced to turn to Foles. With RB Jay Ajayi uncertain to play this weekend against the Indianapolis Colts, Wentz may need to once again be the focal point of the offense.Minnesota Vikingsmake kicker switch; waive K Daniel Carlson, sign Dan BaileyDaniel Carlson went 0-3 on field goals, including 0-2 in overtime (which in itself included a 35-yard winner) against the Green Bay Packers in what ultimately turned into a 29-29 tie. The Vikings overcame a 20-7 4th quarter deficit to force overtime which would seemingly add more to the disappointment.Have no fear. Vikings HC Mike Zimmer handled subsequent questions about Carlson’s release with his usual poise and decency:The Vikings get the 2nd-most accurate kicker in NFL history in Bailey. Since being released by the Dallas Cowboys, he had turned down prior offers for what he considered “the right fit.” Based on the signing , one can only assume “the right fit” is a team that plays in a dome with plans on a deep playoff run. But with Bailey’s resume, I suppose he can afford to be picky.Browns also flip kickers; waive K Zane Gonzalez, sign Greg JosephGonzalez, a seventh-round pick and human embodiment of Cleveland Browns football, was off to a rough 2018 campaign. He had a potential game-winning field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers get blocked ensuring a tie. His follow up performance against the Saints saw him leave eight points off the board with a 2-4 FG, 0-2 XP performance. One of the missed extra points came with 1:16 left in the game and would have given the Browns a 19-18 lead. Gonzalez then missed a 52-yard game-tying field goal with eight seconds left. His replacement, Joseph, was a rookie camp body for the Miami Dolphins and made all three of his attempts during the preseason.WR Antonio Brown uses his Twitter dot com accountAccording to his bio, this Ryan Scarpino guy did PR for the Steelers for the seven years leading up to this season. I don’t know if his position really let him be “tapped in” to the pulse of the team, but anyone with eyes can see that Brown is an all-world talent and not just a product of QB Ben Roethlisberger. On top of this tweet, Brown didn’t attend practice on Monday, an unexcused absence according to HC Mike Tomlin. It isn’t all doom-and-gloom in the Steel City just yet, as Brown may have just been letting off some steam for his audience of 1.25 million followers.Brown is reportedly frustrated with the Steelers’ slow start and claims he cleared his absence with the coaching staff before not showing up on Monday:Side note: with Le’Veon Bell holding out, Brown frustrated, and Ben being old, will the Killer B’s be replaced by the rhythm J’s (JuJu Smith-Schuster Womens Greg Zuerlein Jersey , James Conner, and Jesse James)? Sorry, that’s the best I can do.Los Angeles Chargers DL Corey Liuget sues former trainerLiuget is currently two games into his four-game suspension, the first in his seven years in the NFL. Liuget claims his failed drug test was a result of trainer Ian Danney misleading him with a substance he injected him with. Danney reportedly has ties to dozens of other NFL players.Buffalo Bills CB Vontae Davis retires at halftimeI want to include the link to Davis speaking on the subject because I believe it’s only fair:This is perhaps the most polarizing story this week.To many, Davis abandoned his team, let the fans down and did something that falls somewhere between insider trading and kneeling in the Hiller Scale of Unforgivability鈩? A lot of jokes were made (mainly at the expense of how bad the Bills really are). Admittedly, it isn’t a great look on Week 2, less than a month after the Bills made cut the roster down to 53, leaving people off that would have wanted to be there. But not everyone is wired the same way.Davis said it all came crashing during the opening defensive series. Who am I, or anyone not named Vontae Davis, to criticize how he feels? Coaches and players that buy into the system will talk out of both sides of their mouths; you need to be there for your brothers, but if you take plays off you’ll be replaced by someone that wants to be there. So if Davis was truly done and had no desire to continue, what good does it do anyone for him to be out there? I’ll hop off my soapbox, but I’m almost always going to sympathize with the player. These guys are humans, not merely a means to an end.I’m happy to hear that Davis is looking back with no regrets and feeling good.
  17. We’re midway through the week, giving us a few days worth of time to reflect back on the comments made by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers regarding the team’s 22-0 victory over the Buffalo Bills. There still is little clarity on whether a rift truly exists between him and head coach Mike McCarthy, but it’s certainly clear that Rodgers was frustrated by the Womens Lane Taylor Jersey team’s lack of success on offense recently.Part of the problem on Sunday was Rodgers himself, however, as he missed a handful of throws that he would typically make. A 22-for-40 day is pretty poor by Rodgers’ standards, and represents his lowest completion percentage over a full game in about two years (since a 23-for-45 day against the Giants in 2016). Drops were certainly a factor again, but these may be two symptoms of a single cause.That possible cause is Rodgers’ lack of practice time since injuring his knee in week one. Yes, Rodgers did practice on Thursday last week, but that was the first non-Saturday practice he has participated in over the past few weeks. With the team returning to the practice field today, hopefully Rodgers will be able to work on a Wednesday as well to help ensure that his chemistry with his receivers gets back on track.Aaron Rodgers brings Green Bay Packers’ offensives issues to forefront - ESPNRodgers is a competitor, but with comments like “no flow to the game” and saying that Davante Adams didn’t get more targets because “it’s by the plan,” it’s clear that he’s unhappy about some of the offense’s overall direction.How Packers can resolve Rodgers' dispute with McCarthy | Packersnews.comTom Silverstein makes the case that it's on Mark Murphy to bring Rodgers and McCarthy into his office to sit down Authentic Mike Daniels Jersey , air out their differences, and move on. Agree or disagree?First NFL start was ‘growing process’ for Marquez Valdes-Scantling | Packers.comMVS had a few rookie mistakes -- most notably not coming back for the football on a near-interception -- but he flashed with his speed on a 38-yard go route and got valuable live reps all day on Sunday.Patricia doesn't plan to increase RB Johnson's reps - NFL.comNext Sunday's opponent, the Lions, are dealing with their own running back issues and like Mike McCarthy, Matt Patricia refuses to fully commit to his best back in the near future.David Bakhtiari quietly putting together another All-Pro season | Packers WireWe jut can't say enough about how great Bakhtiari is, particularly as a pass-blocker. This year, he's exceeding the level of play from the past two years that got him second-team All-Pro honors.Zoo forced to use plastic penguins after nationwide shortage | Metro NewsTelford Exotic Zoo in Shropshire just invested 60,000 pounds in a new penguin shelter, but because of an outbreak of avian malaria, there are no penguins in the UK to fill the space.Packers vs. Washington, Week 3 2018: First half game updates & discussion One week ago, a hobbled Aaron Rodgers nearly led the Green Bay Packers to a victory over the Minnesota Vikings Authentic Jaire Alexander Jersey , one of the favorites in the NFC. Although last week's game ended in a tie, there are plenty of reasons for Packers fans to be optimistic about the direction of the team as it moves forward in week three and beyond. This week, Green Bay takes the field in the outskirts of Washington, D.C. to play a 1-1 team from the NFC East. Washington has a new face under center in Alex Smith and possesses a defense that has had success against the pass so far this year. However, they have played the Cardinals - who might be the worst team in the NFL right now - and the Colts, who won last week and are still getting Andrew Luck back to normal. If the Packers can jump out to an early lead, expect a dose of Aaron Jones later on. The second year running back is back off suspension today and will be active. Joining him on the sideline will be rookie linebacker Oren Burks, who makes his debut after missing the first two games with a shoulder injury.Join us for the first half here, and Go Pack Go!Game Updates from APC StaffA Twitter List by acmepackingco Game Updates from Packers MediaA Twitter List by TexWestern
  18. Well Womens Geronimo Allison Jersey , how was that for a season opener? Everyone, finally, doing all right about now? After looking at #Packers on twitter at half time, I’m glad that some who jumped off the nearest bridge ended up flying and those who took a long walk of the short pier were able to swim. I’m sure right about now your heart rates are close to back to normal. I’m more talking to fellow APC writer Matub on that one. For a little context, he sent our APC group chat updates on his bpm during the fourth quarter. He hit 121 on the Cobb touchdown and 109 after the Nick Perry sack to end the game. Reading the papers on Monday morning, there were many articles on how the Packers won Sunday night. Mostly, they were talking about how amazing Aaron Rodgers played, on one leg, after being carted off the field. Some were about how Matt Nagy played so conservative when he should have went for the throat and there were even some giving credit to how stout Mike Pettine’s defense played after the first quarter. All are noteworthy reasons to why the Packers had one of the most remarkable comebacks in recent memory. However, the real reason the Packers won that game was BECAUSE of the Aaron Rodgers injury. That’s right, if Aaron Rodgers would not have gotten injured and carted off, the Packers would have lost the game.Before you head to the comments to roast me on that take, let me explain. Mike McCarthy and Joe Philbin’s game plan for the start of the game was an absolute mess. Nothing was working in the first half and the Bears defense absolutely dominated the Packers in every facet of the game. I don’t know if it was lack of playing time in the preseason, but the offensive line was a mess. Corey Linsley and Justin McCray made Akiem Hicks look like he was Warren Sapp. They had no answer what so ever for his bull rush. Bryan Bulaga just didn’t have the speed or time to prepare for the freak of nature that is Khalil Mack. As for the play calling, there were far too many deep drop backs for Rodgers. That gave Mack and the Bears plenty of time to get to Rodgers as the secondary was able to keep the Packer receivers in check for any of the mid to deep routes. The lack of blocking and good coverage led to a lot of scrambling and improvisation, and that played right into the hands of the pass rush of the Bears.Further proof of that is what happened to DeShone Kizer in his limited action. The pass rush and coverages led to Kizer making some very questionable decisions. While some will blame Kizer for the way he played rather than the play calling, I see that as a ridiculous argument. He’s only 22 years old and been with the team and playbook for about six months. He’s basically a rookie out there and it’s unrealistic to expect him to play at a NFL starting caliber right now. Brett Hundley had been with the team for three years and, arguably, had a better grasp on using his talent and the fundamentals of the offense — and we know how that ended. Stay patient with Kizer this year.McCarthy tried to call the game the same for Kizer as he did for Rodgers and it gift wrapped a Khalil Mack pick-six (something McCarthy admitted regretting in his Monday press conference). It just added insult to the Rodgers injury and now everyone was not just wondering what the future held with Rodgers but how bad would this game get before it was over.Now, usually McCarthy and company usually don’t completely abandon their game plans. They like to make small tweaks here and there but never completely change the way they are calling the game...that is, until Rodgers was injured but was deemed healthy enough to play in the second half.The second half started and it was like a completely different coaching staff was calling the plays. The reason it seemed that way was because the injury forced them to call the plays differently. The Rodgers injury limited his mobility and that made McCarthy and Philbin look at plays to make Rodgers get rid of the ball as quickly as possible.Gone were the snaps under center, gone were the deep drops, and while Rodgers did scramble when he had to, gone was anything with rolling out or excessive movement. As Rodgers put it after the game, “I was basically a statue out there.” The most unexpected thing was that it was just what the Packers needed. The quick passes neutralized the pass rush. Rodgers was barely touched because he was getting rid of the ball so quickly. Other than the Geronimo Allison touchdown and the Davante Adams 51-yard reception, there were very few, if any, passes that were actually caught more than 10 yards from the line of scrimmage. The Randall Cobb touchdown happened on third and ten; Cobb caught the ball at the sticks and he made everyone miss for the last 65 yards. Those short passes showcased the playmaking ability of the receivers and showed that short routes could be turned to gold. Now, would McCarthy and Philbin have changed the play calling if Rodgers didn’t get hurt? As I mentioned earlier Youth JK Scott Jersey , McCarthy has been frustratingly stubborn at making wholesale adjustments during a game and why would you ever call plays to limit the mobility of Aaron Rodgers? You wouldn’t. So it’s easy to imagine that they wouldn’t have changed as much as they had to and it would have been a similar story to the first half for the Packers.While the Aaron Rodgers injury scared Packer Nation to it’s core, be hopeful that it appears to be nothing serious and be thankful because it delivered a victory over the Bears. And for those like me, who live on the Wisconsin/Illinois border where half the area cheers for the Packers and the other half for the Bears, be thankful you don’t have to listen to Bears fans gloat until the Week 15 rematch.NFC North 2018 Previews: Minnesota Vikings by the numbers Green Bay Packers fans like to laugh at the Minnesota Vikings and their lone championship, but even though the franchise has been shut out of the big game more than just about anyone else, it’s worth noting they are consistently the rival most likely to cause trouble for Green Bay. Rick Spielman took over the front office in 2012 after a disastrous 3-13 season and immediately turned things around. Replacing Leslie Frazier with the defensive-minded Mike Zimmer was a big first step, in conjunction with taking a very scientific approach to player acquisition and team construction. Few front offices would be deft enough to deal with a severe injury to an up-and-coming quarterback (Teddy Bridgewater), pull off a trade for an above average replacement (Sam Bradford), and when he was lost the following year, coax a great offensive season out of Case Keenum. Perhaps most impressively, they resisted the urge to overpay any of these people.The Vikings are, unsurprisingly, led by their defense, but few teams have managed to create the balance the Vikings enjoy. Most of their core stars are young and signed through at least 2020. They are one of the most well-run franchises in the NFL, and should be Super Bowl contenders for the foreseeable future.OffenseThe Vikings have a dominant defense and I basically have nothing bad to say about it, so let’s start with the offense, which has more questions than you may expect. On paper, this all looks pretty great. Running back Dalvin Cook will return from a torn ACL, and in the four games he did manage to play last year he was quite good. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry while contributing in the passing game. Most would agree that Kirk Cousins is an overall upgrade on Case Keenum, while Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen are among the best receivers in football, and likely the top duo. Tight end Kyle Rudolph is fine.Last season, the Vikings were excellent as Keenum, of all people, led the league in DVOA. The run game struggled a bit with the loss of Cook, but overall they were the 5th best offense in football. That’s a great accomplishment for a team that was highly successful last season, eventually running into the Philly buzzsaw, but the Vikings are very likely to come back to the pack, and back behind the Pack of offense this season.The Cousins ConundrumEven if Cousins were to be a top five quarterback, the odds of replicating Keenum’s season from a year before would still be remote. Keenum Womens Davante Adams Jersey , due to talented receivers and a highly intelligent coaching staff, played well above his true talent level and produced a sensational season. Keenum was especially deadly in the red zone, where Minnesota as a whole ranked 2nd in passing DVOA, 70.1% above average. Only Philadelphia was better, which should tell you just how important Red Zone passing is. The Rams were 3rd, New England 4th. Last June I wrote a piece about this very thing, as Aaron Rodgers is one of the best all time at passing in the red zone, and in goal-to-go situations. It is one of the key things the separates him from average quarterbacks. Kirk Cousins, for all of his attributes, sticks out just as much as Rodgers, but not how you’d like it:Cousins doesn’t have great arm-strength, and as windows start to tighten near the end zone, he becomes less effective in a hurry. He wasn’t the quite as bad last season, but Washington still ranked 18th in passing DVOA in the red zone, and they fell to 23rd in goal-to-go situations. Cousins throws an accurate deep ball and, for a team that realizes his limitations, he can be an effective player. If Dalvin Cook and Latavius Murray can power the ball in in goal-to-go situations, it won’t matter as much if Cousins struggles. The problem is that replacing passing with running, even in near the end zone, isn’t efficient, and even a good offense will lose something without the threat of a pass. The fact is that Cousins is likely to be worse than Keenum in general, just because Keenum was so good a year ago, but he’s also likely to be worse in this very specific way. It’s a hidden weakness of Cousins that can really derail an offense, and Minnesota has to deal with it.What About Diggs and ThielenDiggs and Thielen are great, and they are much of what made Keenum so good. The problem is that the Vikings have a big depth problem behind them. Laquon Treadwell has been a total bust so far, and while Kendall Wright is a decent backup, that’s all he is. They haven’t spent a high pick on receiver since Treadwell, and Stacy Coley hasn’t really impressed yet either. The fact is that the Vikings are paper thin behind their big two, and because Cousins will be so reliant on his weapons for production Youth Aaron Rodgers Jersey , an injury to either would be devastating. They’re also working with a new offensive coordinator with John DeFilippo taking over for Pat Shurmur, and while DeFilippo may be just fine, change isn’t always good for an offense — especially an offense that was clicking nicely thank you very much. The Vikings are likely to field an above average offense, and maybe even a top 10 unit, but there’s now some ceiling based on their choice of quarterback, and a pretty low floor based on lack of depth.DefenseThe defense, on the other hand, is outstanding, and weaknesses are few and far between. The Vikings may have gotten lit up by the Eagles in the playoffs, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security. The Eagles are one of the smartest teams in the league, and they figured out everyone last year. Mike Zimmer knows how to put a defense together, and he has the talent to execute, with Shelden Richardson (late of Seattle) joining Everson Griffen, run-stuffer Linval Joseph, and Danielle Hunter to form a truly outstanding line. Quarterback-injurer Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks are both above average, and the secondary outside of Tre Waynes is one of the best in the league and is as deep as it is good. Xavier Rhodes and Harrison Smith make life easier on even the weaker players, and the secondary ranked in the top 10 in DVOA guarding every receiver category except the slot, where they were 15th. They are bringing back every core player from that defense, and most of the truly important pieces are under contract for the next three years. The Minnesota defense is well-constructed and smartly run. They are likely to be a thorn in the side of the Packers and every other North team for years to come, and beating them will take the kind of creativity that you really only get out of Philly and New England. OverallThe Vikings’ defense will keep them in almost any game, and automatically gives them a solid eight-win base, but there are some cracks in the offense, and I expect them to take a fair step back. If Cousins is his normal self they’ll likely be an 11-12 win team, but if anything goes wrong and if they wind up kicking more field goals than they score touchdowns, they may find themselves in a very competitive NFC wild card chase.
  19. Mixon has some good news for Bengals fans this Wednesday. Apparently Cincinnati Bengals T-Shirt , the running back is already walking and is confident in his return happening depends on how well he feels.Mixon went on to tell reporters that he feels great. This is great news considering the Bengals just waived the injured running back Tra Carson, who was expected to backup Giovani Bernard this week. Of course, Bernard is already filling in for Mixon. Mixon was injured during Thursday night’s game against the Ravens, but he was good enough to return to the game to help seal the win for Cincinnati. It is awesome that Mixon already thinks he feels good enough to run, but it could be even better that doctors are smart enough to hold him back from pushing it. There is no doubt that he is extremely important to the Bengals’ offense, but if missing him for two weeks while he gets as close to 100 percent as possible means Cincinnati will have him available for most of the season, then that is the best course of action. The alternative being he pushes himself too hard too soon and he ends up aggravating something, and as a result, Cincinnati will miss him for even longer.Mixon’s spirit and work ethic is exactly what you want from your starting running back, though. It is clear that Mixon could possibly end up being the leader of this team eventually Cincinnati Bengals Hats , and him wanting to get out there as soon as possible after his first surgery is a great way to show your teammates that you are here for them.Of course, Mixon’s presence on the field will be missed. He has 179 rushing yards, six receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown on the season so far. He has looked unstoppable at times on the field, and that is really scary is he has been a few shoestring tackles away from some big gains.The way Mixon is talking, though, it seems like the team will only have to rely on Bernard for a game or two rather than up to four weeks like the original timetable that was established.Hopefully, Mixon is back out there soon to keep his breakout season going strong.Michael Johnson’s first career touchdown personifies the Bengals’ season For the first 30 minutes of the Bengals showdown against the Dolphins, the defensive line looked lifeless outside of defensive tackle Geno Atkins. They were getting gashed in the running game and nobody was getting any penetration in the pass rush. The Dolphins only scored 10 points against the Bengals defense, but it was clear who had control of the game in the first half.The Bengals’ biggest strength (the defensive line) was performing like a liability, and one of its weakest links in defensive end Michael Johnson wasn’t making anything better. Then the second half began and Johnson aided in the Dolphins’ third scoring drive of the game by getting flagged for unnecessary roughness.Out of all the players on the Bengals defense to seemingly lose their cool enough to warrant a penalty Cincinnati Bengals Hoodie , Johnson would be the player you’d least likely suspect. The best asset Johnson has at the ripe age of 31 is his veteran leadership on- and off-the-field. After all, he doesn’t have the captain’s patch on his jersey for no reason.The Dolphins kicked a 42-yard field goal five players later and extended their lead to 17-0 with 9:25 remaining in the third quarter. The Bengals, and Johnson, did what they’ve done all season: they persevered.The offense responded with their first two scoring drives and the defense forced a quick three-and-out in between them. The fourth quarter arrived and the Bengals were still very much alive, but the momentum didn’t quite swing over just yet. Atkins sacked quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the second time, and the Dolphins needed 16 yards on a third down from their own 13-yard line. The Bengals were going to get the ball back with a chance to tie the game. Then running back Kenyan Drake scampered for 18 yards and kept the drive alive, temporarily deflating the Bengals.Temporarily.Two plays later: bedlam. In the hands of none other than Johnson.The defensive captain was in the right place at the right time, despite being unaware of what went down in the instances before.“I had missed a sack, so I was like ‘aw man’, but I just kept playing hard Youth Customized Cincinnati Bengals Jerseys ,” Johnson said after the game. “I don’t really know what happened, I just saw the ball and it stuck. Thank God I was able to hold on to it, and waddle into the end zone.”Waddle is an apt verb for return, but the Bengals certainly didn’t waddle their way back into this game. 17 point comebacks and 27 unanswered points don’t just happen, but a little luck never hurts. Regardless, they got the job done, and then some.“We just keep believing and keep trusting what the coaches are telling us, and believe in our technique and play for each other,” Johnson said. “As long as we keep doing that, good things will happen.”Johnson wasn’t a lock to make this year’s team , in fact, he didn’t even make the initial 53-man roster. An underwhelming preseason and promising talent behind him on the depth chart made him an easy target for fans, regardless of his character and actions off-the-field. Aside from this one play, Johnson was largely ineffective just like he has been all season and has been for the last few years.But one play can change a game, a mindset, and the perception of everything. The Bengals have now come from behind in the fourth quarter in three of their four wins this year. Charging through misfortune and finishing strong have been clear themes of this year’s Bengals, and Johnson was a perfect personification on Sunday.
  20. Rob Joey Youth Robert Woods Jersey and I got in a new episode of Turf Show Radio last night.6:45: Rob explains Poldark11:20: Joey’s top 3 Oscar favorites: First Man, Roma, and...15:45: Actual football podcast things21:15: “That was the first time where we have really seen Jared Goff individually take over, and I think that’s a thing maybe not for now but when we look back and say, ‘This was the first time we saw Jared Goff become this kind of quarterback.’ And really, not necessarily attempt those throws but attempt and make those throws that when we see it again, it’s not as surprising. But this time, it was surprising because he pulled it off.”27:00: “It’s nice to be the hunted.”33:40: Rob explains the Seattle Seahawks’ magical formula of rushing attempts+completed passes>5043:55: Matt Longacre can play any position45:38: Rob’s Cooper Kupp sexytime51:48: This is now a quidditch podcast57:20: Andrew Whitworth joins the show to talk about BBQ1:02:05 “This fall, on CBS. Whitworth & Goff.”1:03:30: Bandwagon mania1:20:30: We are not going to talk about UCLA footballThe show is now on iTunes, Art19 and Spotify too.Random Ramsdom 8/31: Are you ready for some (real) football? Five Takeaways: Rams Finish 2018 Preseason 2-2 | Rams OfficialThe only takeaway from this one is: burn the tape. Myles Simmons looks for the silver lining in the Rams’ meaningless, but embarrassing, final tune-up.The Lookaround: The State of the LA Rams | Field GullsSB Nation colleague Kenneth Arthur with a solid, if Seahawk-centric look at the Rams by way of the Pacific Northwest (featuring guest commentary by our very own 3k).LA Rams to play preseason game in Hawaii | Star AdvertiserIf you’re looking for good excuse to spend a week in Hawaii Womens Michael Brockers Jersey , look no further. The Rams will likely suit up in Honolulu’s Aloha Stadium in 2019. Although, judging by the lack of star power in this year’s exhibition games, be sure to pack the golf clubs.Player of the Game: Rams LB Micah Kiser racks up 12 tackles | RamsWireIn the “lone bright spot” column, the Rams have themselves a run-stuffing LB in Micah Kiser. His coverage skills remain a question mark, but given the shortcomings of last year’s unit against the run, it’s a welcome sight to see some good old-fashioned tackling.Rams among favorites to finish with best record in NFL | RamsWireAccording to sports handicap site OddsShark, the Rams are in the top 5 teams Vegas predicts to finish the regular season with league’s best mark. No presh.Is Aaron Donald deal already done? | NBC SportsYou’ve seen the Captain Obvious commercials, right? Brilliant. Apparently, NBC Sports’ Mike Florio has not only seen them, but is channeling the astute charmer from the popular ad campaign. Yeah, we’re about to pay the man, as the Whitworth and Woods restructures connote. LA Rams adjust to Super Bowl aspirations | USA TodayIt’s a worthwhile topic. The Rams are facing big expectations for the first time in 10+ years. We’re loaded, confident , and relatively healthy heading into week 1. But we sure won’t surprise anyone in 2018.Rams should explore RG3 trade | FanSidedYes, Sean Mannion has been bad to atrocious, depending on who you ask. Give him a first-string O-line and some weapons and maybe he’s not quite as awful as he’s looked. Would RG3 fare better if he’s released by the Ravens? It’s worth some though, or in this case, an article.Rams top Super Bowl LIII Predictions | NFL.comWith 5 votes from the pundits over at, the Rams are tied with New Orleans as favorites to reach the Super Bowl. Yes, tied with the same team whose 2s, 3s and 4s just ran roughshod over our soon-to-be grocery baggers. That game was meaningless, right? A bunch of guys we’ll cut against a bunch of guys they’ll cut. Still, something tells me it meant something to Saints’ HC Sean Payton.
  21. Travis Kelce was mic’d up Sunday during the team’s win against the San Francisco 49ers. The NFL released the video on its official Twitter account on Wednesday night:Highlights and notes0:00-0:13: The video shows how juiced up Kelce gets during warmups Cheap Justin Houston Jersey , shaking hands with teammates and yelling at everybody.0:15: Kelce begins quoting The Waterboy. 0:29: A kiss hello from Kelce to Kansas City.1:00: The referee asks Kelce how many yards he currently has and Kelce tells him that he doesn't keep track of yards and he just wants to win. Whether or not that is always true, that’s a pretty cool moment. Kelce finished with a season-high 114 yards in the game.1:20: If you’re wondering who’s shouting at Kelce that no one can cover him, it’s Chiefs assistant athletic trainer David Glover.1:33: Mitch Holthus cameo note: “He goes to the top of the highest ride at Worlds of Fun.” So good.1:43: Andy Reid pets Kelce.2:00: For anyone that thinks the Chiefs’ skill-position players could be worried about getting the ball, this should ease that fear. Look how excited Kelce is for the Sammy Watkins touchdown. They just want to win.2:27: Eric Fisher belly slap.2:37: The referee asks Kelce if he’s tired. Kelce: “Boy, I’m tired as s-it.”3:06: Kelce addresses one of my biggest gripes about the Chiefs in recent years—finishing and dominating games. Kelce says , “Get that grit back. Let’s go. We stepping on their necks, that’s what we're doing.” This is Bill Belichick-type stuff and what the Chiefs are now capable of with this offense. Good to hear.Chiefs’ Thursday injury report vs. 49ers Each practice day, the Kansas City Chiefs will release an official injury report leading up to the next game. Here is the report for Thursday:ChiefsThe Chiefs announced that defensive lineman Chris Jones would return to practice after missing Wednesday, while safety Eric Berry would miss his second practice in a row this week. As a reminder, Berry hasn’t practice since August 11. Safety Armani Watts missed practice due to non-injury reasons.49ersSome notesBerry (sore heel) has now missed two days of practice despite the NFL Network report on Monday that he could practice this week. Jones (groin strain) Eric Fisher Jersey , as we expected, appears to be fine.Linebacker Ben Niemann (hamstring) has been officially listed as limited this week. Looks like he’ll either be questionable or doubtful for Sunday.Cornerback Richard Sherman popped up the Thursday injury report with a heel injury. He did not practice.
  22. For nearly a year Authentic Randall Cobb Jersey , Green Bay Packers fans waited with patient enthusiasm to see No. 12 step back onto the field for the first time. Following last year’s devastating collarbone injury in week six against the Vikings that left Aaron Rodgers sidelined for the remainder of the 2017 season, Mike McCarthy opted to sit the quarterback for almost the entire month of August, playing him for just four snaps in the second preseason game against the Steelers. Resting Rodgers was the safe bet, because after all protecting the franchise player at all costs is always the goal. So when the Chicago Bears announced they had traded for Khalil Mack, the best pass rusher and most explosive defensive player in the league, a major curveball had been thrown in the Packer’s week one plans. Protecting the franchise player at all costs had just become ten times more difficult. As often happens in the season opener, the Packers struggled to find their footing in the first quarter against Chicago on Sunday night. Aside from the defense that was already struggling to contain Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, the offensive line was being completely overpowered by a Bears front featuring the newly-acquired Mack. On several snaps, Mack bull-rushed Bryan Bulaga, who looked wholly unable to keep up, right into the pocket, forcing Aaron Rodgers to get the ball out quickly under pressure. Then, down 10-0 and with just over nine minutes left in the second quarter, Bears DE Roy Robertston-Harris rushed right past Corey Linsley for a shot at Rodgers just as Mack was once again able to overpower Bulaga for hit of his own. Aaron Rodgers was down again, this time grabbing his knee and taking him out of the game. For the rest of the second quarter and the entire halftime break , it was looking like there was a possibility that Rodgers’ season was over just as it was getting started. But as Rodgers often does, he shocked everyone watching when he jogged out of the tunnel to start the second half. What ensued in the remaining two quarters of the Sunday night primetime game against the NFC North rival Chicago Bears on the anniversary of the Packers 100th season is nothing short of a miracle. With a twenty point deficit, Aaron Rodgers went 20/30 for 286 passing yards and three touchdowns — all on one leg — to win the game 24-23 making it the Packers largest 4th quarter comeback since 1940. Aaron Rodgers worked an absolute miracle, to put it lightly. On that note, these are the five decisive plays by Aaron Rodgers (in chronological order) in the second half that brought the Packers one of the most historic wins in franchise history. Aaron Rodgers hit a 15-yard dime over the middle to Geronimo Allison, who ran a perfect route on 3rd and 14 with 1:26 left in the 3rd quarter. With pristine protection from the line, that pass set up a first down that was followed by another 10-yard first-down pass to Allison on the next play. 2. Rodgers threw it up to find Allison once again, this time for a 39-yard touchdown pass in the back of the end zone with 14:10 to go in the 4th quarter. Allison was in one-on-one coverage with Kyle Fuller who had struggled all night. 3. After a quick three and out from the Bears. Rodgers was back on the field and hit Davante Adams for a huge 51-yard gain on 2nd and 10. 4. With just under nine and a half minutes left in the 4th quarter, Rodgers slung it out to Davante Adams again who ran it right into the end zone, putting the Packers within three points of the Bears. 5. The Packers defense had another big stop on 3rd and 1 with the Bears just an earshot from the end zone to hold Chicago to a field goal. With 2:29 left to play on a 3rd and 10, Rodgers hit Randall Cobb for the definitive 75-yard touchdown pass, giving the Packers the win. Sunday night’s win over Chicago was nothing short of awe-inspiring. Hobbled on one leg, Aaron Rodgers led the packers to the second-largest comeback in franchise history at Lambeau Field. For the players and for the fans, the way he stepped up and led Green Bay to a victory is something no one will ever soon forget.Cheese Curds, 8/16: Packers look for more success from young defensive players After a relatively successful 2018 opener , the Green Bay Packers’ defense is showing signs of promise. That is particularly true for a handful of first- and second-year pros on that side of the football, and tonight’s second preseason game will be a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that they can keep that success going.Linebacker Oren Burks and cornerback Josh Jackson led their position groups in snaps last week, with Burks leading the way among all Packers defenders. Montravius Adams had a few particularly impressive plays. And Ahmad Thomas is demonstrating why the team’s coaches have been excited about him as he vies for a roster spot.All of those players are mentioned in today’s curds as we look forward to the game against the Steelers this evening.Montravius Adams ‘hungry’ for more in second season | Packers.comAdams is approaching his sophomore season differently than his rookie year, and not just because he's healthy. He wants to get inside the heads of opposing linemen as well as to learn new techniques from the veterans beside him.Justin McCray following familiar path to starting guard spot | Packersnews.comRemember when Lane Taylor backed up both guard positions and then became the starter? It’s a little like McCray’s path to the lineup, although this time it doesn’t involve a veteran being unceremoniously cut at the 53-man roster deadline. Not yet at least...Mike Pettine encouraged by Packers rookies Oren Burks, Josh Jackson | Packers WirePettine is happy that Burks played full-speed and took charge of the huddle later in the game, and also praised Jackson's play in the opener. Now it's time to keep up the good work in the second preseason game tonight.Meanwhile, Ahmad Thomas is also fighting for linebacker snaps, and he was on the Jim Rome Show on Wednesday to talk about the competition to replace Jake Ryan:Browns S Damarious Randall won his jersey bet, but donated some anyway - SBNation.comRemember when Randall bet everybody a free jersey if the Cavs won the NBA Finals? Well he didn't have to pay up, but he did donate a bunch of jerseys (with his name and number, for the record) to a local Boys and Girls Club in Cleveland.Over 100 puppies adopted at Browns training camp - NFL.comMore Browns news: HOORAY FOR PUPPIES!Ramen Noodle heist in Georgia | FOX 13 Tampa BayBest headline of the day? Best headline of the day.
  23. The Bengals released their initial 53-man roster on Saturday afternoon and it included seven former undrafted free agents Bengals Hardy Nickerson Jersey , though none are rookies.Breaking into the NFL after being passed over in the draft is no easy task. It takes hard work and a little bit of luck, but seven players have overcome all obstacles to clear final cuts make the Bengals’ 53-man roster.The former undrafted free agents on the Bengals’ 53-man roster are running back Tra Carson, offensive linemen Trey Hopkins and Alex Redmond, defensive lineman Josh Tupou, linebackers Vincent Rey and Hardy Nickerson, cornerback Tony McRae, and wide receiver Alex Erickson.Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is the suspended list and does not currently count toward the 53-man roster, but is also a former undrafted free agent.Rey is among the best known of this group and is a great success story. Signed in 2010, Rey was placed on the practice squad for most of his rookie year. He became a spot-starter in 2013 and has been a valuable backup for the Bengals since then. Despite going undrafted, Rey has become one of the leaders on the defense and has been a stand-up member of the Cincinnati community.Hopkins and Redmond are returning for their second seasons on the active roster after beginning their careers on the practice squad. While Hopkins fought for and won the starting job at right guard last season, Redmond may have that job this year. Whoever ends up starting will be a valuable member of the line going forward.One fan favorite that ended up making the roster is Carson, who saw plenty of setbacks in his two years with the Bengals. He played on the practice squad in 2016 before being placed on IR in 2017 following a nasty preseason injury. But he finally made the 53-man roster this season after earning a spot among the running backs over Brian Hill. Carson was one of the best running backs for the Bengals this preseason, rushing for 77 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. Carson is the only player on this list that will be making his roster debut on opening day.Others who have played on the active roster Erickson, Nickerson, McRae, and Tupou. The later three were placed on the practice squad last year after being cut, and all three were promoted at some point but were used sparingly and out of desperation. Nickerson and Tupou both had great preseasons this year, which helped them win decisive position battles. McRae overcame an injury that kept him out of most of the preseason Cheap Joe Mixon Jersey , he made good use of the limited time he had. Erickson wowed in his rookie year preseason, beating out Brandon Tate for the Bengals’ returner job. That job still belongs to him in addition to being a backup receiver. Whether they get playing time or not, it is still an incredible milestone for these guys to wear a white color-rush uniform in Indianapolis next Sunday. For those undrafted players who didn’t make the roster, their work is not done. Players like Quinton Flowers, Jordan Franks, Chris Worley, Junior Joseph, and Brandon Bell could be added to the practice squad and make their way onto the roster later this year. The common factor between most the players mentioned above is time spent on the practice squad. Interestingly, no rookie undrafted players made the cut.For some of the players who didn’t make it, they are only one injury away from a promotion to the roster.Bengals Bytes (9/13): C.J. Uzomah looks back at his scouting report '88 O-line does it one more timeIt might have been center Bruce Kozerski pleading to his quarterback over his shoulder to pick out a run from the three plays Boomer Esiason had called at the line. Or over at left guard it could have been Bruce Reimers bellowing to his Hall-of-Fame neighbor as left tackle Anthony Munoz nodded while pawing at the Riverfront Stadium Astroturf. Surely, it was one of the offensive linemen saying it because running backs James Brooks and Ickey Woods were churning real estate like Drees. Truth be told it could have been their bantam of a coach who was the architect of it all saying it, probably in the fourth quarter as the Bengals line strangled another clock to death.Game Day Info: Ravens at BengalsThe pregame party in the Jungle Zone kicks off at 5:30 p.m. Located on the east plaza level of Paul Brown Stadium, the Jungle Zone features food, drinks, giveaways and family-friendly activities including face painting.A.J. Green says the Bengals have a player just as good as Le’Veon Bell or Todd GurleyNot only did Mixon do some serious damage on the ground with 95 rushing yards, but the second-year running back also caught five passes for 54 yards. In an era where dual-threat running backs have become all the rage, there are some players in the Bengals locker room who believe that their guy is one of the best in the business.Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah puts his scouting report behind himWhile the pre-draft report about C.J. Uzomah in 2015 on stated the Auburn tight end "could become a much more productive move tight end in the pros than he was in college," the scouts weren't impressed by Uzomah's ability as a blocker.Ravens vs. Bengals: Odds Cheap Dre Kirkpatrick Jersey , best bets, propsIn fact, the best prop bet for this Thursday Night Football matchup looks to be under 21.5 points in the first half at -105 (bet $105 to win $100). Sure, both the Bengals and Ravens combined for 81 points last week, but they were playing inferior competition in the Indianapolis Colts and Buffalo Bills.Ravens vs. Bengals odds: Thursday Night Football picks and predictions from proven expert who's 13-4 on Cincinnati gamesWhite, one of SportsLine's most proficient NFL prognosticators, cashed big last season in the world's most prestigious handicapping tournament, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperContest, tying for 18th out of 2,748 contestants with a 52-29-4 mark against the spread. It wasn't a fluke, either, as he also drove deep in 2015. Anyone who has followed his advice is up big.The Times' Sam Farmer predicts Ravens will beat Bengals on 'Thursday Night Football'Sam Farmer’s pick: The Bengals are improved on offense, but their offensive line is an issue. As usual, the Ravens have a strong defense that can exploit that. Baltimore can stop the run and its defense will force some turnovers. Ravens 21, Bengals 17Game Preview: Ravens at BengalsSetting the scene: After a thrilling 34-23 win at Indianapolis last week, the Cincinnati Bengals will carry considerable momentum into their nationally televised matchup with the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals scored 24 unanswered points in the second half against the Colts for a come-from-behind victory.Ravens vs. Bengals: Thursday Night Football key matchupsThe Ravens defense, on the other hand, is pretty stout. We saw how they stifled the Bills QBs en route to a six-sack day Bengals Ryan Glasgow Jersey , with plenty more hits and pressures along the way. They will be hard to beat, even at home.Random BytesThe 7 Best Players in the NFC North. Period.Actually, I don’t know. I’m just guessing. But it wouldn’t surprise me. From what I’ve seen, Kirk wants to win at everything. He wants to win every session in practice. Every drill. Every play. He’s not the kind of leader who will be extra vocal and all rah rah. He’s the kind of guy who will sit down on the bench and talk to you and joke around, but then he steps on the field and flips the switch. He sets the tone for everybody.Mike Freeman's 10-Point Stance: NFL's Young Stars Can Only Hope to Be Like GronkUp 14-6 on the Texans late in the first half Sunday, Tom Brady did what he usually does, and he didn't leave a second to waste. Facing a 1st-and-10 at the Patriots' 41-yard line, Brady threw into double coverage, which surprised even his target, tight end Rob Gronkowski.Jon Gruden Says Skunk Was Loose in Raiders Locker Room: 'Still at Large'Jon Gruden's return to the Oakland Raiders has been rough so far, and Wednesday is just the latest chapter in an already eventful story. Speaking to reporters (h/t The Athletic's Lindsay Jones), Gruden said a skunk was running loose in the Raiders locker room.Josh Allen to Start for Bills over Nathan Peterman vs. ChargersThe Buffalo Bills have named rookie Josh Allen as the team's starting quarterback over Nathan Peterman for their Week 2 game against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.NFL Insiders: What to Make of Football's Most Overrated Players and Teams?Who had the worst letdowns in Week 1? Bleacher Report went around the league to ask scouts, coaches and players the following question: "Who was the most overrated player, coach or team you saw this week?"Marcus Mariota Expected to Play vs. Texans with Elbow Injury 'Barring a Setback'When the Tennessee Titans host the Houston Texans on Sunday, Marcus Mariota is expected to be under center for Tennessee despite suffering a shoulder/elbow injury against the Miami Dolphins in Week 1.Fantasy Football Week 2: Matt Camp's Fantasy Big BoardTodd Gurley is still at the top of his game after a dominant 2018 debut against the Oakland Raiders. He should be on his way to another huge outing when he faces the Arizona Cardinals in Week 2. No team gave up more fantasy points to running backs in Week 1.
  24. Bills rookie OL Wyatt Teller is cleaning up his diet. Who is the Dolphins’ fastest wide receiver? The Patriots enjoyed spending some time with Kobe Bryant. Getting traded to the Jets revived DL Henry Anderson‘s career. Alex Lewis has seen time at center as the Ravens try different looks on the offensive line. Which undrafted rookies have the best chance to stick with the Bengals? Browns coach Hue Jackson will be jumping into a lake on Friday. An injury may speed up the need for Steelers rookie T Chukwuma Okorafor to join the lineup. What height Authentic Alexander Radulov Jersey , weight and speed are the Texans looking for in prospects? Examining the depth on the Colts offensive line. LB Telvin Smith is looking for more from the Jaguars defense. How important is WR Corey Davis to the Titans’ success? Peyton Manning stopped by Broncos practice. Chiefs quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka enjoys working with Patrick Mahomes. Chargers S Derwin James took in a Dodgers game. Keith Smith is happy to be with a Raiders team that believes in fullbacks. Patience is one key for Cowboys defensive backs under position coach Kris Richard. The Giants’ defense reminds DT Dalvin Tomlinson of his college days. A look at how Eagles WR Nelson Agholor turned things around last year. Rob Kelley isn’t too stressed about the competition for playing time in Washington’s backfield. What should we expect from Bears WR Taylor Gabriel in 2018? The Lions are looking for problem solvers at linebacker. Signing TE Marcedes Lewis and T Byron Bell continues a new approach for the Packers. Will WR Laquon Treadwell be a factor for the Vikings this season? DE Jack Crawford thinks the Falcons defensive line can be a strong group. Said Panthers CB Corn Elder of missing last year with a knee injury, “I was excited to get things going. But I believe that everything happens for a reason. I just took it as a blessing in disguise and got to learn the game.” Looking forward to watching DE Marcus Davenport go against T Terron Armstead at Saints practice. C Ryan Jensen is fitting right in with the Buccaneers. Cardinals DE Moubarek Djeri has been studying other pass rushers as he makes up for lost time on the football field. Rams T Andrew Whitworth is ready for his 13th NFL season. 49ers DL Solomon Thomas opened up about his sister’s suicide. The Seahawks continue to stress a run-first mentality. The Minnesota Timberwolves cannot afford anymore losses if they hope to reach the postseason for the first time in 14 years. The Timberwolves face a must-win situation Friday when they visit the Los Angeles Lakers. Consecutive losses have dropped Minnesota (44-35) into the middle of an extremely tight race for the final playoff spots in the Western Conference. Minnesota fell to eighth in the West after losing at the Denver Nuggets 100-96 on Thursday night. The loss at Denver occurred four days after a 121-97 rout by the Utah Jazz at Minnesota. “We’ve got to do better,” Minnesota coach Tom Thibodeau told reporters after the latest loss. The Nuggets are also 44-35, but Minnesota holds the tiebreaker because they’ve won two of three in the head-to-head matchup so far. The teams also meet in the regular-season finale on Wednesday in Minnesota. In the meantime Sammy Baugh Jersey , the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder and New Orleans Pelicans are each 44-34, one game in front of the Timberwolves and Nuggets with three games remaining. Big-time help for Minnesota should be on the way, however. Thibodeau said Thursday night there’s a good chance leading scorer Jimmy Butler returns after missing the past 17 games with a knee injury. The four-time All Star is averaging 22.2 points. Jeff Teague also returned against Denver after missing the Utah game with a sore knee and he finished with 15 points and six assists in 36 minutes. Derrick Rose also returned after missing the previous six games with an ankle injury but totaled just four points in 15 minutes and didn’t record and assist or rebound. “We need everyone J'Marcus Webb Jersey ,” Thibodeau said. “Everyone has to step up now. We need everyone’s best. We’ve got to play great intensity on every play.” Minnesota is 12-13 against Western Conference opponents on the road this season. They won their only other game against the Lakers at Staples Center this season, a 121-104 victory on Christmas. The Lakers (34-44) can play spoiler for the second consecutive game. They knocked off the Spurs 122-112 in overtime on Wednesday to keep San Antonio just inside the playoff bubble while also ending the Spurs’ chances at 50 wins for an 18th consecutive season. Rookie Kyle Kuzma continues to be one of the brightest lights for the Lakers this season. He scored 26 points in a 117-110 loss at the Jazz on Tuesday, then came back the following night and scored 30 in against the Spurs. Kuzma has four 30-point games this season, the most by a Los Angeles rookie since Magic Johnson in 1979-80. He already became the first NBA rookie to record at least 1 Justin Abdelkader Jersey ,200 points, 450 rebounds and 150 3-pointers in a season. “It’s fun watching him compete at that level,” Lakers coach Luke Walton told reporters after Los Angeles completed the first season sweep of the Spurs since 1997-98. Lonzo Ball was expected to be the most valuable rookie for the Lakers this season, but he’s missed the past four games with a left knee contusion and likely won’t play against the Timberwolves. He’s missed 26 games overall this season due to injury. Brandon Ingram , the second-leading scorer for Los Angeles at 16.2 points, missed the past three games because he was in the NBA concussion protocol and his status also remains in doubt for Friday. 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  25. Detroit Lions coach Matt Patricia walked briskly onto a field for his first NFL training camp in charge with a black cap Jack Doyle Jersey , black pullover and black shorts while a yellow pencil was nestled over his right ear. And, he didn't waste any time sending messages on Friday. Patricia pulled aside safety Tavon Wilson, one of many former New England Patriots now in the Motor City, to say a few words early in practice. Wilson, knowing Patricia expects everyone to always hustle, listened to what Patricia had to say and then sprinted to rejoin his teammates on another field. After speaking briefly with team president Rod Wood, the new coach tried to connect with as many players as possible as they stretched out and warmed up. He chatted with some, slapped hands with others and simply tapped helmets as he roamed with a bounce in his step and a smile on his face. During drills, Patricia spent time with many of the position groups to evaluate quietly or teach with words and gestures. While Patricia tried to sound businesslike in his news conference before practice, it was clear how fired up he was even before his white sneakers hit the green grass. "When you walk out on the field again James Neal Jersey , the painted lines, the fresh cut grass, all of that sort of atmosphere around it, it's exciting," he said. "If you have been in this game a long time, it takes you back years to when whether you were playing or first started coaching or even just a little kid running around." The Lions have been around .500 in recent years, winning nine games in each of the past two years after averaging nine wins over the previous two seasons. That was not enough for Jim Caldwell to keep his job with the franchise for a fifth season. The Lions fired Caldwell and hired Patricia shortly after last season, hoping some of what he learned as one of Bill Belichick's top assistants will rub off on a team with one playoff victory in 60-plus years. Even though Detroit made only subtle roster changes , linebacker Jarrad Davis said the major move made on the sideline may make an impact. "It can be a huge difference," Davis said. "The way he came in Jake Allen Jersey , honestly, just set the tone right away. You know, he came in, he laid down the law. He gave us the rules and he came in with energy. ... He came in, made it clear, gave us the expectations. And now we have something we can chase." Davis declined to say what the Lions are chasing, and Patricia has insisted he is only interested in talking about small-picture goals such as making the most out of each day. Even though Patricia has not ever led an NFL team, a veteran coach who gave him a pivotal opportunity many years ago believes he is ready. Detroit defensive coordinator Paul Pasqualoni, who hired Patricia as a graduate assistant at Syracuse in 2001, said he knew he would be working for a high-energy Roger Craig Jersey , bright coach when he accepted the offer. What he didn't know was how detail-oriented Patricia would be as a head coach. Patricia has a detailed planned for everything, Pasqualoni said, including the team's hydration and nutrition plan. "Until you work with him there's no way of knowing that," Pasqualoni said. NOTES: The Lions put LB Devon Kennard and DE Cornelius Washington on the non-football injury list. ... DE Ezekiel Ansah is on the physically unable to perform list. President Donald Trump praised an NFL policy banning kneeling during the "The Star-Spangled Banner," saying that "maybe you shouldn't be in the country" if you don't stand for the anthem. Trump spoke to "Fox & Friends" in an interview that aired Thursday. The policy forbids players from sitting or taking a knee on the field during the anthem but allows them to stay in the locker room. Any violations of the new rules would result in fines against teams. "I think that's good," Trump said in the interview that taped Wednesday. "I don't think people should be staying in the locker rooms, but still I think it's good. You have to stand proudly for the national anthem. Or you shouldn't be playing, you shouldn't be there. Maybe you shouldn't be in the country." Trump told confidants Wednesday that he was thrilled with the NFL's new policy, believing it vindicated his move last fall to call out the players who kneeled while suggesting that he planned to call attention to it again when the season starts in September, just months before the midterm elections Patrick Marleau Jersey , according to a person familiar with the president's conversations but not authorized to discuss them privately. Trump first seized upon the issue last September when called on team owners to fire players who followed former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's lead by kneeling during the national anthem. During a September rally, he referred to an NFL player making a gesture during "The Star-Spangled Banner" as a "son of a bitch" who should be fired. The president's comments spurred a national conversation about patriotism and the nation's symbols and the use of peaceful protest. Trump, meanwhile, told Republican allies that he thought the culture war issue was good for his base even as he received some criticism for seemingly being more focused on the anthem flap last fall than the government's response to a deadly hurricane in Puerto Rico. Trump said in the Fox interview that he thought "the people" pushed for the new policy. "I brought it out. I think the people pushed it forward," Trump said. He added: "you know, that's something ideally could have been taken care of when it first started, it would have been a lot easier, but if they did that, they did the right thing." Follow Lucey on Twitter at ://@catherine_lucey and Lemire at ://@JonLemire Youth Denver Broncos Jerseys