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  1. There is one good thing about a lost season this early on Youth Derek Carr Jersey , it’s a lot less frustrating when you lose after the season is already over anyway. The most important thing at this point is that the team is competitive and that the players are able to be evaluated for their value in future seasons. It sucks to have to say that, and I will never root for losses, but it is a little relief to the misery when you know that losing just helps you get a better draft pick.This game by the Oakland Raiders definitely qualifies under that statement because the team was competitive but losing still keeps them in the running for the top pick in next year’s draft. The offense was competitive anyway is a more appropriate statement, the defense was awful. They showed signs of life a couple of times in the redzone but everything else was plain awful on defense. The fact that they gave up touchdowns to an NFL record three different tight ends in this game didn’t help either, though two of the three catches were ridiculous on the Colts part. Still, it’s frustrating when years go by and the team just can not ever fix the fatal flaw of nobody being able to cover the other team’s tight ends.Why do opposing teams even bother using other players against the Raiders with how awful they always are against tight ends? Just constantly throw to them and you will have success, and it’s on a year in and year out basis. It’s just absurd, especially when the team skips out on drafting a potential super star safety in Derwin James just because they had used a high draft on a couple of busts at the position recently. That’s a little unfair because the new coaching staff didn’t know what they had in their safeties yet but it’s still hard to not be bitter about it. However, if Kolton Miller can play like he did in this game all season then they probably made the right choice anyway. It’s easier to find a starting safety than a starting left tackle and Miller looked really good against the Colts after a horrible game in London before the bye week.The whole offensive line looked really good in this game actually, the bye week definitely helped that position group out even though they still were missing Kelechi Osemele who hopefully can be back next week. It was a night and day difference anyway though , the offensive line gave Derek Carr time to throw all game and the Raiders offense showed just how valuable that is.Derek Carr actually looked great for most of the game in general after a slow start, it was a huge response that he needed after how much scrutiny he has been facing for his poor play since breaking his leg in 2016. He desperately needed a game to quiet the critics and he got one here, this loss is not on him at all.The Raiders QB is also the beneficiary of one of the most bizarre stats ever, at least for a guy who is actually fairly athletic. In his entire career, Carr had never had a rushing touchdown until this game. It had always seemed crazy that Oakland never does QB sneaks with him but to not have scored a touchdown on the ground until his 5th season is just crazy. Hopefully he finally realizes he is actually allowed to use his legs if his arm doesn’t have any good options from now on, but I digress.There are plenty that will point to the failed drive in the 4th quarter when the Raiders went three and out after the two teams swapped scoring drives 7 straight drives as Derek Carr’s fault anyway. That didn’t seem like a knock against Carr as much as a failure in play calling though. The offense was humming with passes downfield, but that drive they did two runs and a short pass for a crucial three and out.With how bad the defense was playing the offense needed to keep the pedal to the metal there and the conservative playcalling doomed them. It wouldn’t have hurt so bad if Johnny Townsend didn’t follow it up with a 24 yard punt though. That was the biggest failure of the whole game and should cost Townsend his job but likely won’t.It’s an absolute travesty seeing such terrible punting from the Oakland Raiders. They have the most storied tradition of great punters in their long history, it’s not something you want to have to use all the time but damn it the Raiders always punt well. Not this year though, this year Johnny Townsend has been the worst punter I ever remember the Raiders having. He should not have a job anymore with the team unless it’s on the practice squad, it’s time to bring in a free agent who actually punts like an NFL punter.Once that shanked punt happened you just knew the Raiders were going down Rodney Hudson Jersey , it was one of those classic Raiders moments when the inevitability of losing was obvious. They had already given up a game tying touchdown the drive before and then quickly gave the ball back, but then to give them such momentum again to go and take the lead was the true back breaker.As for the Doug Martin fumble once the Raiders got the ball again down a touchdown, you just have to tip your hat to Colts rookie linebacker Darius Leonard. He knew exactly what he was going to do and executed it perfectly, it was the type of play that is nearly impossible to defend against on Martin’s part. It was way more frustrating seeing Doug Martin have a chance at the recovery and the ball squirting between his legs to be honest, there is more blame on him for failing to recover the ball than fumbling it. It was really sad too because Martin actually had a really good game outside of that play with 13 carries for 72 yards (5.5 ypc) and two catches for 17 yards. He had been quieting his critics until that fumble happened, hopefully he shrugs it off and plays well again next week against the 49ers.Lastly, it would be a terrible decision to trade Gareon Conley unless they can somehow get a first round pick for him. Even then though, Conley has shown enough potential and corners are hard to find that even trading him for a first round pick might be a mistake. Conley deserves a chance to develop and has shown flashes of being a legitimate number 1 corner even though he gave up a touchdown in this one. He currently has an above average grade from PFF at 63.3, which ranks him at #55 in the NFL right now which is a starter quality ranking. He should be given a chance to prove his worth for Oakland, he could be a true building block for them going forward if they don’t trade him before tomorrow’s trade deadline.Now it’s looking forward to a quick turnaround in a rivalry game against the San Francisco 49ers. It’s the Battle of the Bay Authentic Kelechi Osemele Jersey , an always contentious match with huge bragging rights and usually a fair amount of fan on fan violence. Hopefully it’s safer than it’s been at the game because there is no football game that should feature the type of violence that was on display during their last preseason game where a fan was stabbed in the parking lot.It also could be an audition to see how much of a fan presence the Raiders could have if they need a temporary stadium next season, which seems likely at this point with no lease in Oakland for next year and a potential lawsuit in the making. If the Oakland fans can black out this away game with their presence then it could go a long way to convincing the Oakland brass that Levi stadium is a worthy spot for them for a season. It’s actually a rare game between two losing teams that is extremely meaningful though but not in the traditional sense. The Raiders are currently 1-6 on the season and the 49ers are 1-7, they are neck and neck competing for the number 1 pick in the draft. It’s not the type of competition you’d like to be in but it could go a long way to deciding the draft positions for the 2019 NFL draft. To the loser goes the spoils this time, ironically. After the 34-3 loss to the San Francisco 49ers last Thursday, it is hard to imagine that the Oakland Raiders have a lot of fight left on either side of the football. The Thursday night game looked abysmal and to no surprise Oakland had zero good fantasy outings. On Sunday, the Raiders will have to face the Los Angeles Chargers again. In the first game, the Chargers blew the Raiders out 26-10. For a second straight week, it is going to be bleak for Oakland. Must StartQB Philip RiversNo one knew who Nick Mullens was 24 hours before kickoff last Thursday. Now, football fans across America know this kid’s name. It might be unsafe to think about what a future Hall of Fame quarterback in Philip Rivers will do to the depleted and lifeless Raider defense. RB Melvin GordonIn the first meeting against Oakland, Melvin Gordon tallied one touchdown and 120 yards from scrimmage. Amazingly Youth Reggie Nelson Jersey , that should be considered a monumental win for the Raiders defense as Gordon has gashed teams for 124 yards from scrimmage per game and 10 touchdowns in seven games. So in the first meeting, Gordon put him numbers similar to his average. When players go against the Oakland defense, they usually perform A LOT better than their average. Expect that to be the case this Sunday for Gordon. WR Keenan AllenKeenan Allen this season is averaging close to six receptions for 80 yards per game but has just one touchdown all year. After racking up 152 yards from scrimmage against a much better Seattle defense last week, Allen is trending in the right direction. He will be able to put up big yards as he has done that all year. And this would be the game for Allen to find the end zone since he is playing the same defense that had people drawing connections between Mullens and Joe Montana. Proceed with CautionQB Derek CarrDerek Carr is never a smart man to bet against. And there is no doubt he will want to prove the doubters wrong after last week’s performance in Santa Clara. But Carr just hasn’t had enough time to throw the football this season due to the many injuries up front and the inexperience at the tackle positions. And Los Angeles, led by Melvin Ingram, has gotten to the quarterback 22 times in the first eight games. If you ever lose sight of Carr during the game, just check the ground. That is where he will probably be after many passing plays. The one saving grace for Carr, garbage time can be a great weapon for fantasy quarterbacks. RB Jalen RichardBased on what I said about Carr, I am not confident in the offense’s ability to consistently move the ball this game. However, that could be a benefit for Jalen Richard. If the team is down big early , Richard will see many snaps and could see a lot of dump offs in the second half if the defense is giving a lot of cushion. BenchTE Jared CookJared Cook hasn’t performed well lately. He has had 20 yards receiving or less in three of the last four games. One of those games was against the Chargers in which he had just 20 yards. And again, if Carr isn’t going to be upright, it is tough to imagine Cook getting a ton of targets. RB Doug MartinIn the first meeting, Oakland ran the ball 12 times for 36 yards. The team is less motivated now than it was earlier in the season and is having more issues protecting the quarterback and throwing the football. If the Raiders are one-dimensional (more like zero-dimensional) and struggling to pick up first downs, Doug Martin is not going to get enough carries to provide a solid fantasy day. Raiders D/STI think every single player on the Chargers’ roster was in the must start category.
  2. Ask the men he coaches what makes Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Randy Fichtner tick Youth Mason Cole Jersey , and you get a variation of the same response.He's a dude. A good dude. But just a dude."There's nothing special or outrageous or eccentric," guard David DeCastro said.And that might be exactly what the Steelers need after six highly productive if occasionally volatile seasons with Todd Haley calling the plays.On the surface Fichtner and his predecessor could not be more different. The sometimes combustible Haley wasn't one to hide his emotions and followed a personal mandate to wear shorts at every practice regardless of the weather.Fichtner, promoted from quarterbacks coach to coordinator in January after the team allowed Haley's contract to expire, takes a decidedly more even-keel approach.The most recent time he remembers truly losing it on the field came during the 2010 season opener against Atlanta.When Rashard Mendenhall crossed the goal line for a walk-off win, Fichtner leapt into the air and jokes he may have pulled his hamstring in the process.To be fair, the 54-year-old Fichtner can still move a little bit. He finished practice on Thursday by playfully dropping into coverage as a safety while the first-team offense went through a quick walkthrough after the defense left the field.Unlike Haley, Fichtner makes more conservative choices, at least sartorially.While Haley showed off his calves, Fichtner is usually in sweats, a long-sleeved undershirt and a pullover as he was on Wednesday even as temperatures soared into the 90s.The thing is, Fichtner didn't really look uncomfortable. Probably a good thing considering the stakes of his new gig.He takes over one of the league's most star-laden offenses, even with All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell out while waiting ... and waiting ... to sign his one-year franchise tender. All Fichtner has to do is design an attack that will produce a fifth consecutive playoff berth and — the team hopes — its first trip to the Super Bowl in eight years.Asked if he's ready to be second-guessed every Monday and Fichtner smiled."Sure, absolutely, comes with it," Fichtner said. "I get it."He's been there before, just not for a while. He's a football lifer. His father Ross was a quarterback at Purdue then spent eight seasons as a cornerback for the Cleveland Browns in the 1960s. Randy didn't wander far afield.He played briefly at Purdue then went immediately into coaching after graduation. His nomadic climb up the ladder included four years at Arkansas State from 1997-2000 Youth Larry Fitzgerald Jersey , where he crossed paths with a young defensive backs coach whose energy and edge Fichtner couldn't help but be drawn to.So when that young defensive backs coach called in 2006 and offered Fichtner a job in the NFL, Fichtner figured there was no way he could tell Mike Tomlin no.More than a decade later, the partnership is still going and is one of the main reasons Fichtner stayed in Pittsburgh rather than chase other opportunities."That's just, my relationship with Mike," Fichtner said. "I told him when I came, I told him 'I'm coming for you' and since I've been here, I'm all-in for the (owners) and the organization also. Makes it a couple of reasons. I've always felt I've been content with jobs that I've had and I'm content and just do the best I can."Having some of the most talented players at his disposal doesn't hurt either. Fichtner has developed a strong bond with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who figures to given plenty of leeway to run the no-huddle as he pleases when the Steelers open the season in Cleveland on Sunday."I'm sure he's quite capable of making the right decisions at the right time," Fichtner said. "He's done it in the past and I don't see it being any different in the future."Still, even Roethlisberger is a bit curious how different things will be with Fichtner's voice coming through his helmet instead of Haley's."I don't know," Roethlisberger said. "We'll see. That's the question everyone wants to find out. What's Randy's personality? What are his tendencies? We'll all find out on Sunday I guess."Josh Dobbs, who credited Fichtner's tutelage for helping him supplant Landry Jones as Roethlisberger's primary backup coming out of training camp, is curious to see how willing Fichtner will be to let the creativity he shows during meetings come to life on the field.Yet for all of Fichtner's "just one of the guys" persona, Dobbs allows there's a fire underneath even if it's imperceptible on the practice field. Just start watching film with Fichtner. The joking stops, at least briefly, replaced by Fichtner's inner perfectionist."When you get in the meeting room , he flips and he's the most passionate guy every single play," Dobbs said. "It's 'Do this and it's a touchdown. This is what we can do.'"The self-described "old dude" understands he's an unknown quantity outside the locker room. He's not inside the locker room. His role has changed. His approach has not."He's probably wanted to be an OC for a long time," Dobbs said. "So to get to that position where he's the guy calling plays and game-planning and to see him not change is really good. He's the same guy, bringing energy. ... I think that shows in how he attacks the field."NOTES: Tomlin said he does not plan to outline the team's plan for Bell with Bell's representative. Bell's agent Adisa Bakari said Wednesday they wanted to discuss Bell's usage before Bell reports. "I don't communicate with agents regarding how I utilize players," Tomlin said. "I communicate with players regarding how I utilize players." ... TE Vance McDonald (foot) did not practice on Thursday and is unlikely to play against the Browns. It's not exactly a comfortable feeling for the Chicago Bears, despite their current lofty status.Alone in first place in the NFC North for the first time since late in the 2013 season, the Bears (2-1) know they've shown enough flaws for concern about upcoming games.And most of their problems revolve around the offense, and quarterback Mitchell Trubisky."Offensively after watching the tape, again, red zone-wise yesterday wasn't good enough," Bears coach Matt Nagy said Monday, following Sunday's 16-14 win over the Arizona Cardinals. "We need to be better in the red zone, we need to get to a point to where we're putting touchdowns up on the board and not kicking field goals."Chicago's offense reached the end zone once in two games and twice in the other, and Trubisky turned the ball over twice in the first half against Arizona."We did a good job moving the football, getting first downs and controlling the ball," Trubisky said after the win. "We just have to continue to find ways to get points."The Bears have scored touchdowns on only 40 percent of their trips into the red zone , placing them in the bottom quarter of the league.Trubisky's fundamentals while passing against pressure left something to be desired Sunday, as the Cardinals repeatedly blitzed."I thought that there were some good ones and I thought there were some he could get better at," Nagy said. "That's where we're at. He'll be the first to tell you that."We'll do everything we possibly can each week to make sure we limit those inaccuracies."Trubisky threw for two touchdown passes for the first time ever in the Bears' 24-17 win over Seattle, but then followed with a passer rating of 73.5 Sunday against Arizona.One possible way to improve Trubisky's effort would be to scale back the offense.Considering he has started only 15 NFL games, it's possible Trubisky is at his limit in comprehending all the nuances of the team's new attack."I think that it's probably getting close," Nagy said.Nagy added there are other factors slowing the offense besides his quarterback, but Trubisky must be completely aware of the best places to go with the football."When you feel like it's getting close to that breaking point or too much, you've got to pull back," Nagy said. "And so I feel like we've done a pretty good job so far with that."We'll continue to monitor that and see where he's at. We'll talk to him, we'll get feedback from him, as well as the other guys, and then try to figure out the 'why' part. Why aren't we where we want to be?"A way to solve some of the offensive woes would be to get the ball downfield more often. Although the Bears are happy with their 36:21 of possession time Sunday, they've struggled all year with getting yards after the catch or long completions.Allen Robinson had Chicago's season-long pass reception against Arizona with a 39-yarder to start a scoring drive."I think you can see what it does (with) the one we hit Allen down the sideline," Nagy said."You feel it, you feel that energy, you get the momentum going Youth Chandler Jones Jersey , the guys feel it, it stresses a defense when you have that. So those are important to have and we need to start connecting on those."There are other problems, as well.The defensive depth is being taxed after a hamstring injury to cornerback Prince Amukamara. His backup, Marcus Cooper, has a hamstring injury, as well.By and large, though, the defense has been dominant thanks to Khalil Mack's pass rushing.In fact, it's been so strong Nagy found himself being questioned about a potentially dangerous rift developing within the team as the defense carries too much of the load.Nagy discounted this."As well and as dominant as our defense has been, there's going to be a time this year — I can't tell you when — but there's going to be a time this year when they need the offense," Nagy said. "I've been a part of both sides. I've been a part of where the defense is dominant and the offense is struggling."And you've got to make sure that you understand that there's 16 games in a season. It's going to balance out, typically."
  3. Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch will miss at least a month because of a groin injury.A person familiar with the injury said Friday that an MRI this week determined the severity of the injury. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not made any announcement. NFL Network first reported the diagnosis.Lynch was hurt last week in Oakland's 27-3 loss to Seattle in London. The Raiders (1-5) are off this week and will play again on Oct. 28 at home against Indianapolis. Oakland could choose to place Lynch on injured reserve , which would require him to miss at least eight weeks.The 32-year-old Lynch has been one of the few bright spots for the Raiders this season. He ranks 12th in the league with 376 yards rushing, averaging 4.2 yards per carry with three touchdowns. Lynch ranks fourth in the NFL in rushing since Week 12 last season.Lynch's best game came in Oakland's only win when he ran for 130 yards last month against Cleveland when he showed off the power that earned him the nickname Beast Mode. Lynch came out of retirement last season in order to join the hometown Raiders before they move to Las Vegas in 2020. He is in the final year of his contract.With Lynch sidelined, the struggling Raiders will likely turn to Doug Martin and Jalen Richard to carry the bulk of the load at running back. Martin was signed to be the main backup to Lynch this season but has been unproductive so far. He has 27 carries for 99 yards and four catches for 5 yards this season. He is averaging just 3.0 yards per carry since the start of the 2016 season.Richard is more of a receiving back, ranking second on the team with 31 catches for 253 yards. Richard has carried the ball 11 times for 32 yards this year and has never had more than nine carries in a game in his three seasons in the NFL.The only other halfback on the roster is DeAndre Washington, who injured his knee in training camp and has not been active yet despite being healthy the past few weeks. Washington has rushed for 620 yards on 144 carries in two seasons in the NFL. His most productive game came as a rookie in 2016 when he ran for 99 yards and a TD on 12 carries against the Colts on Christmas Eve. After the Raiders lost to the Chargers on Sunday Seth Roberts Jersey , team owner Mark Davis said that “where this team is right now is my fault” and that head coach Jon Gruden is “going to be the stability” the organization needs to find better results.Davis made a big commitment to Gruden when he signed him to a 10-year contract to coach the team this offseason and Sunday’s comments showed that the team’s awful results on the field haven’t dimmed his belief in Gruden. On Monday, Gruden expressed gratitude for those sentiments.“I talk to Mark after every game and these are unpleasant conversations,” Gruden said, via “It’s tough, man Authentic Donald Penn Jersey , we want to win. We want to win. We also want to do right by this organization and some of these decisions have been really tough, but I want to deliver for him and his family, certainly, and this organization and right now, it’s tough. But it’s great to have him support me and I appreciate it. But I feel the same way he does — I just want to win.”Gruden said that he knows “it’s dark right now ,” but that he believes there are “some great people” in place that will help provide the foundation for brighter days in the future. They need to find a lot more for those days to actually arrive as Gruden, Davis and company are playing the long game with the Raiders.
  4. The Atlanta Falcons are 1-3 and facing another tough challenge this week.Coach Dan Quinn Black De'Vondre Campbell Jersey , in his fourth season, has been in this situation before and still led the Falcons to the playoffs."My guess is in December and January we'll look back on these games much like we do in past years," Quinn said Monday. "In '17 we had a tough stretch with Buffalo, Miami and New England, or the year before in the opener when the sky was falling externally. I want you to know inside it's not."Quinn insists the Falcons have the right mindset to turn the season around, but their defense must make some quick fixes if Atlanta is to stop a two-game skid with a victory Sunday at Pittsburgh. The Falcons gave up 80 points the last two weeks at home, allowing New Orleans and Cincinnati to overcome late deficits in the closing seconds."The best thing about our team is the attitude that they're in it for one another and the togetherness that it's going to take," Quinn said. "We'll just throw all of our focus Youth Matt Ryan Jersey , all of our attention right into right now, and that'll be this week's preparation. But I will say you've got to learn from these."Injuries have caused matchup problems for the defense. Starting safeties Keanu Neal and Ricardo Allen are out for the season, and middle linebacker Deion Jones, the defensive captain, had foot surgery and will miss at least the next six weeks.The Falcons have plugged in Damontae Kazee at strong safety. He took 73 snaps, tied with cornerback Robert Alford for the most on Sunday, and had his first career interception. Rookie Isaiah Oliver, a second-round draft pick Youth Keanu Neal Jersey , made his first career start and manned both free safety and cornerback.The loss of Neal and Allen hurt most against the Bengals when the Falcons lined up in nickel. Longtime starting cornerback Desmond Trufant, usually a regular on the left side, moved to the slot while Brian Poole went from nickel to safety and Oliver went to left cornerback.It all unraveled on the last drive.With 1:30 remaining, defensive end Vic Beasley sacked Andy Dalton to force and recover a fumble, but the ruling was changed and Cincinnati kept the ball. Trufant dropped an interception on the next play and defended a third-down pass before Tyler Boyd beat him for a fourth-down catch to the Atlanta 24.After Boyd and Dalton beat Trufant for another fourth-down completion, the Bengals used their last timeout with 12 seconds remaining. They had no choice but to throw the ball into the end zone on the next play. That way, if it wasn't successful, they would get a chance at one last snap.Defensive coordinator Marquand Manual quickly switched the Falcons from man to zone coverage Youth Julio Jones Jersey , which might have worked if Oliver hadn't let A.J. Green streak behind him and emerge wide open for the winning catch.It was a big mistake, leaving a rookie with a chance to be out of position against Green, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection."In that moment, in that part of the field, you want (Oliver) to play it from high to low," Quinn said. "As opposed to a communication error, that was a technique error. Those scars aren't fun."Quinn was also disappointed that Dalton threw a pair of easy TD passes in the first half when Tyler Eifert and John Ross were wide open."Correction-wise we allowed two touchdowns on two-seam routes, and we know that we certainly haven't seen that happen against our defense and the style that we play ," Quinn said. "So for us to foul up those two, that part we know we can get corrected."NOTES: Quinn hopes that RB Devonta Freeman and DE Derrick Shelby will be full participants when the Falcons return to practice Wednesday. Freeman has missed three straight games with a right knee injury. Shelby has been out two games with a groin injury. DT Grady Jarrett is still being evaluated after leaving the final drive with an ankle injury. The Falcons won’t have linebacker Deion Jones on hand as they try to slow down the Saints offense, but the Saints could have defensive end Marcus Davenport back in the lineup.Jones was activated from injured reserve a little more than a week ago, but did not play against the Cowboys last Sunday and the team ruled him out for Thursday night’s trip to New Orleans. Jones had foot surgery after being injured in the season opener and will try to make his second appearance of the season in Week 13.Jones was the only player given an injury designation by Atlanta.Davenport returned to practice this week after missing the last three games with a toe injury. He’s been listed as questionable along with wide receiver Tre'Quan Smith. Smith, who had a huge game against the Eagles, was initially listed as a limited participant on Tuesday before the team updated their injury report to say he didn’t practice at all. He was limited on Wednesday.The Saints have ruled out left tackle Terron Armstead, who will miss a second straight game with a pectoral injury.
  5. Sunday was a breakthrough performance; not just for Kerryon Johnson Youth Marvin Jones Jr Jersey , but the entire Detroit Lions running game. We haven’t seen that kind of rushing attack for quite some time. There are so many ways to quantify how impressive the Lions’ 248-yard performance was against the Dolphins, but instead of pointing out just one or two Justin Tucker-esque eye-opening statistics, let’s dump a whole bunch of them in one spot and revel in the awesomeness of having established a running game.Team statsThe Lions’ 248 rushing yards on Sunday was the the third-best rushing performance (by yards) of any team in the NFL. Of the four teams that have rushed for over 240 yards in a game, the Lions’ 7.1 yards per carry was second best.But the real eye-popping stats come when comparing Sunday’s performance to the franchise’s history:That’s right: The Lions’ rushing performance was the best we’ve seen in nearly 30 years. It was a performance we only saw once during the Barry Sanders era. Sunday was very, very, very special. Even by a pure yardage standpoint, the Lions put up their best effort in 20 years. Their 248 rushing yards was the best team performance since November 23, 1997. Kerryon JohnsonThe man at the forefront of the day also had a pretty special performance. Obviously, he established a number of career highs with 19 rushing attempts, 158 yards and 8.3 yards per carry. However, he set some pretty impressive franchise marks, too. His 77-yard run was the longest this team has seen since... you guessed it: Jahvid Best’s memorable 88-yard touchdown run against the Bears in 2011. It was also the second-longest of any run in the NFL this season. Season statsAll offseason, Lions fans were saying they’d be ecstatic if Detroit could just get an average running game. Well, I’m sorry to say the Lions do not have an average running game, they have a very good one.Overall Womens Taylor Decker Jersey , the Lions currently rank 11th in rushing yards, which is just okay. However, when it comes to efficiency stats, they are near the top of the league. Only four teams are better than their 4.9 yards per carry: The Panthers, the Broncos, the 49ers and the Cowboys. As for Mr. Johnson, he’s now eighth in rushing yards (444, having played fewer games than many of the players above him). There is only a single running back averaging more yards per carry than Kerryon right now. Johnson is at 6.4 yards per carry, while 49ers running back Matt Breida is averaging 6.5. He’s also doing pretty damn well when it comes to advanced statistics. Coming into Week 7, he was already first in Football Outsiders’ DVOA (they update on Tuesdays). And after Sunday’s performance, he’s a top five running back per Pro Football Focus:Welcome to the Offensive Rookie of the Year race, Kerryon.LISTEN: Best radio calls from Detroit Lions’ Week 3 win over Patriots Man, we’ve missed the glorious voice of Detroit Lions radio play-by-play announcer Dan Miller. For the first two weeks of the season, the Lions have given Miller little to work with. Lowly efforts against the Jets and 49ers left the Lions radio announcer, along with the rest of Lions fans , despondent and unenthusiastic. But Sunday night’s dominant win over the Patriots injected adrenaline into the heart of Detroit like they were in a Tarantino movie. As a result, our radio calls series is back, and we get to listen to some sweet, sweet “TOUCHDOWN DETROIT LIONS” calls from Miller. For those that haven’t been listening to the radio, this will also be your first chance to catch Lomas Brown in the booth as the team’s official color commentator from now on. Let’s get to it.Play 1: Kenny Golladay puts the Lions up 10-0Early in the game, it was hard to tell what exactly was going on. The Lions jumped out to a 3-0 lead, but Detroit got an early lead in both of the previous two games. We had no idea what was to come, but when Kenny Golladay scored, you could feel something special may be brewing. Take it away, Dan:(If you don’t see the audio above, click here)Play 2: Matthew Stafford connects with Marvin Jones Jr. for 33-yard bombBy far the most beautiful play of the night, Detroit stopped New England’s third-quarter momentum with this perfectly laid ball from Matthew Stafford. At this point in the game, the crowds was bumping, Miller was feeling it, and Lomas Brown was getting noticeably amped. This radio duo could be bringing some fire this year. Check it out:(If you don’t see the audio above , click here)Play 3: Big Play SlayA good football fan knows to never count out Touchdown Tom, but when Darius Slay grabbed this poorly thrown ball, the game was pretty much over. The Lions were about to do something no one who watched this team through two weeks reasonably expected. “The damage is done, that’s a BIG TIME pick from Darius Slay.”(If you can’t see the audio above, click here)Play 4: Kerryon Johnson hits the century markA 10-yard run on third-and-15 will typically elicit boos from the home crowd, but on Sunday night, it drew a standing ovation from Ford Field. With a relatively meaningless 10 yards, Kerryon Johnson pushed his rushing total to 101 on the day, making him the greatest Lions running back of all time the first to hit 100 yards since the 2013 season. Because the run didn’t mean much in terms of the outcome of the game, Miller is a bit subdued in his call, but the background noise of the crowd roaring as they realized what just happened is enough to elicit chills. (If you can’t see the audio above, click here.)
  6. NFL roster cuts 2018: Thomas Rawls Youth Tom Johnson Jersey , DeShawn Shead among ex-Seahawks released While we’re waiting for the Seattle Seahawks to announce their roster cuts to finalize the 53-man roster for the start of the 2018 NFL season, several other teams have made their cuts public as early as Friday.Of interest to Seahawks fans would be the number of players formerly affiliated with Seattle who are looking for a new team as of Saturday. Headlining the list of names is running back Thomas Rawls, who was let go by the New York Jets. Rawls was once a legitimate Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate in 2015, but his broken ankle in December, followed by other injuries, then just poor play in general, saw his time in Seattle come to a very disappointing end. He has the single-game postseason rushing record for the Seahawks, with 161 yards against the Detroit Lions two seasons ago. That feels like eons ago.A bigger surprise is CB DeShawn Shead, who signed with the Detroit Lions and began training camp as a starter opposite Darius Slay. Apparently Shead, who tore his ACL in the Seahawks’ playoff loss to the Atlanta Falcons in 2017, had been battling a quad injury that caused him to miss two preseason games. He was guaranteed $1.5 million as part of his one-year contract in Detroit, but this move saves the Lions a little over $1.6 million in cap space.The Indianapolis Colts have reportedly waived WR Kasen Williams, the Seahawks’ preseason darling of 2017 before being a surprise cut on deadline day. Williams went to the Cleveland Browns, didn’t stick around after Cleveland’s 0-16 season, and now he apparently finds himself a free agent again after not making the grade in Indy.Down in Atlanta , the Falcons cut S Ron Parker, who spent time with the Seahawks in 2011 and 2012, but then carved out a five-season stint with the Kansas City Chiefs.Lastly, linebacker Korey Toomer has been released by the San Francisco 49ers, who have quite a few ex-Seahawks on the defensive side of the ball (including Richard Sherman, of course). Toomer was a reserve linebacker and special teams contributor from 2012-2013, and was released in 2014 as part of final roster cuts. He was most recently with the Chargers, playing there in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.Update: Former Seahawks punter Jon Ryan has been cut by the Buffalo Bills. After a listless home loss this past weekend, Detroit defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois called out his team."I just want everybody to lock back in. Lock in for these next 10 weeks, just lock in," Jean Francois said after Sunday's 28-14 loss to Seattle."Leave everything else alone outside of this building. I know you love your family, but tell them you will see them in February. Just lock in and do your job, nothing else is important to us right now."Time will tell whether Sunday's loss becomes a galvanizing moment for the Lions, but the frustration was understandable.For three straight seasons, Detroit has won between seven and nine games Chris Carson Jersey , and its fans have experienced occasional optimism followed by quick letdowns.After losing to Seattle, the Lions are again in a tough spot 鈥?alone in last place in the NFC North, heading into road games against Minnesota and Chicago."I think all of our process every single week as we move through the season here, it has to improve," said Matt Patricia, Detroit's first-year coach."Everything does. The season gets harder as you go on and the process has to get better each and every week. So, we have to make sure we're doing that to the highest level."The Lions lost their first two games of the season but showed an appropriate amount of urgency after that, scrambling back to the .500 mark. They appeared to have fixed their long-dormant running game, and the home game against the Seahawks looked like another opportunity to show progress.Instead, Detroit (3-4) allowed three touchdowns in the second quarter and never recovered."We came out flat with no focus. We just weren't ready to go again," Jean Francois said. "That team came off that bus ready to go. They were ready to execute everything, they were ready to put their skills on display. We just came out there and weren't focused at all against this team and that's the weird part."Running back Ameer Abdullah, who fumbled while returning a kickoff, shared similar sentiments afterward."It's a long season, sometimes you kind of hit a cruise control and you forget the little things you do every single day Cheap Russell Wilson Jersey ," Abdullah said. "Like same foot, same shoulder, ball security, hold tight, stuff like that. But you have to continue to focus on that stuff as the season goes on."Beyond the intangible notions of focus and intensity, the Lions were outperformed statistically as well. Seattle had a 176-34 edge in rushing 鈥?a step back for a Detroit team that ran for 248 yards in a win at Miami the previous weekend.The Lions fell behind 21-7 in the second quarter, and that probably played a role in the rushing disparity. Detroit finished the game with only 13 attempts on the ground."I think we talked about it all week last week about how good they are in the run game. They do a good job of loading the box and just put themselves in some really good positions to make some plays," Patricia said Monday."We have to execute a little bit better and obviously just try to get some more positive plays in the run game going earlier in the game and be able to stay with it and control the game from that aspect of it."Detroit also turned the ball over three times against Seattle, so the Lions have had eight turnovers in their losses to the Seahawks and Jets, but only two in their five other games.But two of Detroit's turnovers Sunday came in the fourth quarter when the team was already facing a double-digit deficit. The game began to slip away long before then."They out-executed us in all three phases last night and we did not execute up to par," Patricia said. "I just have to do a better job coaching and we have to do a better job of playing."
  7. There were a lot of things that went wrong in Jacksonville for the Jets that could be attributed to coaching. Failure to adjust. Tentative gameplanning. More boneheaded penalties in key spots. All of the classic issues were there.However Buster Skrine Jersey , Todd Bowles made a pair of game management decisions in this game that were downright awful.12:56 to go in the 4th, Jets down 25-3, 4th & 8 at the Jaguars 20, Jets kick field goalThe Jets were down by 22 points with 13 minutes to go in the game. Kicking a field goal would cut the lead from three scores to three scores. They would still need to score three more times to at least tie the game if they made this field goal attempt. Kicking a field goal here made absolutely no sense - it did not shred into the lead a single bit. The only benefit was that instead of having to score 3 touchdowns with a two point conversion on one of them, the Jets could now tie the game with a field goal and 2 touchdowns with a two point conversion on both. Wow. Beneficial. You’re actually asking the team to convert more scores that way, asking for 5 instead of 4 if you include the difficulty of converting a two-point attempt.Now, how bad exactly was this decision based on history?According to Pro Football Reference, since 1994 (as far back as tracking data is available), there have been 285 plays run in this scenario of 4th down & 8 or less, in the red zone, in the 4th quarter, down by 20 points or more (field goal would not cut the lead to less than 3 scores).In those situations Youth Robby Anderson Jersey , teams have gone for it 271/285 times - 95%. Bowles kicked a field goal in a situation where only 5% of teams deemed it the right decision.In fact, since Bowles was hired, there have been 43 plays run leaguewide in this scenario, and a field goal has been the decision only 2 times out of those 43.Bowles was the coach to make that call on both (kicking in a loss vs. Miami in 2016).He is the only coach in the league who has made this decision since he was hired by the Jets. And he has done it twice.4:33 to go in the 4th, Jets down 25-12, 4th & 6 at the Jets 20. Jets puntAt this point, the Jets had a very marginal chance of winning the game, but this decision was just punting away whatever slim chance was left. The Jets were only down two scores at this point. If they could miraculously pull out a quick score in a minute or less, there was time to get a stop and get the ball back with a chance to tie or win the game.Punting milks at least a minute off the clock and/or costs multiple timeouts, and gives your team the ball back in likely the same or similar field position without the time assets just mentioned. It’s nonsensical to make that move here. It displays either a lack of understanding of how to maximize the team’s chances of winning the game, or a complete lack of faith in the team to win it.(Doesn’t it sound like we’ve discussed this before?)Since 1994, 16 teams had been in a similar situation prior to the Jets’ game in Jacksonville. I defined the scenario as the final 5 minutes of the 4th quarter Womens Trumaine Johnson Jersey , 4th down & 6 or less to go, team is inside their own 20, and down by 2 scores (losing by 9 to 16 points).In those situations, teams went for it 15 out of 16 times, punting only once. That’s 94%. Bowles made himself only the second coach to punt in that situation over the past two decades-plus. It was last done by Andy Reid’s Eagles in 2005.Bowles also punted in a very similar situation in a loss at Denver last year, punting the ball away trailing 23-0 with 4:39 to go. If you extend the scenario to include plays in which the team was down by more than 2 scores, Bowles is one of only three head coaches since 1994 to make that punt call twice - along with Steve Spagnuolo (2009 & 2011 with the Rams) and Eric Mangini (2009 with the Browns).So if differentiation is what you are looking for in a head coach, Bowles has certainly brought it. You can’t say he hasn’t bucked the trends.Jets 2018 Roster Countdown: Number 44 Lawrence Thomas Lawrence Thomas is next up in our Jets roster countdown.Name: Lawrence ThomasNumber: 44Year with Jets: 3rdProjected Role: Starting fullbackHis 2017: Thomas had an eventful 2017. He started the season as a defensive lineman and then started getting some action as a fullback. Before long, the Jets converted him to fullback. Although his first game featured a memorable 15 yard catch against the Dolphins, the rest of Thomas’ season in the backfield was uneven.2018 will be a success if: Thomas grows into a quality fullback. The fullback position is being phased out of today’s NFL, but Jeremy Bates will likely feature utilize it more than your typical offensive coordinator. There will be opportunities for Thomas if he makes the team.Odds of making the roster: Thomas is in a competition with Dimitri Flowers. He is the rare player who is as likely to start as he is to be cut. He is 50/50.
  8. Will the Jacksonville Jaguars defense regress in 2018? The Jacksonville Jaguars defense was absolutely , positively, mind-blowingly good last season. It will probably take a while to realize what a gift we had in 2017 , but rest assured — we will be toasting that unit for a while.But how large is the window for the defense? Can they continue to perform at an elite level? They’re bringing back everyone except the nickel cornerback and SAM linebacker and they added a first round draft pick in Taven Bryan and seem to have struck seventh round gold in rookie linebacker Leon Jacobs.This week, we’re taking a look at several aspects of this year’s Jaguars team with the help of Football Outsider’s Andrew Potter who was kind enough to explain how he thinks this year’s defense will compare to last year.What do you think? Will the defense regress or will it — wait for it — actually improve?Let us know in the comments below!3 Jaguars skip Vikings practice with injuries The Jacksonville Jaguars will travel to have joint practices with the Minnesota Vikings without a few players this afternoon. Guard Andrew Norwell , defensive tackle Eli Ankou and defensive end Dawuane Smoot will not take part in the joint practices and presumably will not play in Saturday’s preseason game.The big name here is guard Andrew Norwell, who was signed to a massive free agent contract this past offseason. Norwell was dealing with a calf issue last week and sat out the preseason opener against the New Orleans Saints , but it appears the Jaguars are being extremely cautious with the injury and holding Norwell out further.Smoothas been out for a few days with injury and these are critical practices for the second-year defensive end, who might find himself battling for a roster spot on a loaded defensive line who just added first round pick Taven Bryan. Ankou has been out for a little over a week and his injury is believed to believed the more serious of the three.
  9. Rivalry games are always the best ones Cheap Chris Harris Jr Jersey , especially due to the memories they create. Over the years, the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs have given fans of both franchises something to remember. The Chiefs dominated the Broncos in the 1960’s, but in every decade since the Broncos have had an advantage in the head-to-head series, albeit a slim one. Every Broncos fan knows about Steve Atwater’s hit on Christian Okoye. They will also never forget how Clinton Portis gashed them for over 200 yards and five touchdowns. It’s also well-established that most of Broncos Country despises Eddie Kennison for quitting on the team nearly two decades ago. Not to mention it’s always a blast to always remind the good folks loyal to the Chiefs that their franchise hasn’t won anything worth recognizing in nearly five decades.In the hundred plus gridiron battles the two teams have embarked on, there certainly hasn’t been a lack of fireworks — and I would expect no differently in tonight’s match-up on Monday Night Football with an early lead in the AFC West on the line. But the truth of the matter is, the Chiefs have had the Broncos’ number for the past several seasons. Dating back to 2015, they have reeled off five-straight wins which is a streak Denver hopes to end tonight in front of a roaring hometown crowd. However, it will be tough task, as the Chiefs are one of the best teams in the league and have shown early on they are contenders.Chiefs Kingdom has rejoiced knowing the dink-and-dunk days of Alex Smith are over and are giddy about the advent of the Patrick Mahomes Era. The second-year gunslinger has taken the league by storm leading the Chiefs’ offense to its most successful heights in nearly fifteen years. Most certainly, he is an early favorite for Offensive MVP honors for his play to date. In three games, Mahomes has thrown for 896 yards and 13 touchdowns with zero interceptions. Teams have only sacked him four times, which is a testament to their offensive line’s quality play and his ability to get the ball out fast.Without question, their offense is loaded with extremely talented and dangerous skill position players. Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and Kareem Hunt are still the most well-known weapons on offense, but the addition of wide receiver Sammy Watkins has proven to be a significant boon for their franchise. Those four players have the ability to take it to the house any time they touch the ball, so the Broncos’ defense needs to be at their best if they want a shot at winning tonight’s prime time affair.This year’s Chiefs squad reminds me of several incarnations they had in the early 2000’s, when their offense featured Trent Green, Priest Holmes, Tony Gonzalez, Dante Hall and the aforementioned Kennison. Those teams were incredibly productive on offense with everyone getting a slice of the pie, but the overall success of those teams were hampered by poor defenses. Oddly enough, that happens to be the most significant concern the Chiefs have in 2018. Quite frankly Youth Justin Simmons Jersey , their defense hasn’t been able to stop anybody, which is the major silver-lining giving Broncos Country some modicum of hope in respect to the game.Can the Broncos get back on track and defeat the Chiefs this evening? Most definitely, but it’s going to take their best effort of the season to make that happen. Here are some of my keys to the game which I believe are critical for any aspirations of ending the night with a victory.Keys to the GameWho will keep Travis Kelce in check?I’m beginning to sound like a broken record constantly harping on the Broncos’ inability to cover tight ends successfully, but this week they are going up against an All-Pro in Kelce, who has destroyed the Broncos in recent memory. They have weapons galore, but nobody has had the type of success against the Broncos’ defense like Kelce has — therefore he is the player on the Chiefs I’m the most worried about. In the last three games versus the Broncos, Kelce has been on fire and has hauled in 26 receptions for 394 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Broncos’ secondary and linebackers have to find a way to limit his impact, because if they don’t, the game might could into a Mile High blowout relatively quickly.Offensive efficiency and establishing the runSometimes the best defense is a good offense. As I wrote about several days ago, one way the Broncos can limit the offensive assault of the Chiefs is to keep Patrick Mahomes and his multitude of weapons off the field. That starts by having a ground first rushing attack that is efficient and helps control the pace of the game, and also allows to defense to be as fresh as possible.The Chiefs’ defense is one of the worst in the league and allows more than five yards per carry. With that in mind, tonight would be a prime opportunity to showcase rookies Royce Freeman and Phillip Lindsay to a national audience. Run it early and run it often. Not only that, but the Broncos can’t afford to mismanage drives or turn the ball over. They need to be efficient — that means touchdowns on a consistent basis, not settling for field goals or even worse — turning the ball over.Put the pressure on Patrick MahomesAs my colleague Adam Malnati mentioned, one significant key to this week’s game is the Broncos’ defensive line and their pass rushers getting to Patrick Mahomes. As noted earlier, the Chiefs’ offensive line has done a tremendous job protecting the second-year signal caller and have only allowed four sacks on the year. Mahomes isn’t a scrambler by any means, but has top-level talent at extending broken down plays and making things happen when virtually all hope seems lost.Putting pressure on Mahomes is paramount. If the Broncos want to win tonight, the defense needs to dial up some creative blitzes and force the quarterback into some questionable decisions. If the Broncos can get a turnover or two by doing so, their chances at victory will tick up a bit higher.Hart’s PredictionThe Chiefs boast the league’s most potent offense, yet have a defense that has struggled significantly through three games. On the flip-side, the Broncos have an offense capable of great achievement, but have failed to reach their potential due to self-inflicted wounds via turnovers or costly penalties. Can the Broncos’ offense get back on track? Tonight’s game provides them with a prime opportunity to do so — and it’s a task I believe they will rise to.However Cheap Case Keenum Jersey , if the team were to struggle against one of the league’s worst defenses, that would be a tremendous setback not only this week, but moving forward as well.The major aspect of this game comes down to whether or not the Broncos’ defense can limit the offensive onslaught the Chiefs have battered their opponents with all season long. The Frequent Fly Zone will have to perform much better than they have early on this season for the Broncos to have a legitimate shot at winning. While I hope for the best, tonight’s affair concerns me given Denver’s questionable depth and injury concerns at cornerback. In the end, I expect a shootout, but I don’t believe it’s going to be one where Denver comes out on top.Chiefs 34, Broncos 27.Demaryius Thomas excited for turnover-free Broncos offense You could hear the excitement in his voice. It’s safe to say fans of the Denver Broncos had the same reaction as Demaryius Thomas when they think about the prospects this week. How good can this offense be if the offense eliminates the turnovers? As Andrew Mason pointed out in his question to the Broncos receiver on Friday’s 1st & 10 @ 10 on Orange and Blue 760, the offense still put up 470 yards, 324 in the air and 146 on the ground. If Case Keenum gets rid of his interceptions, watch out. “Man, I don’t even know what the word is for it,” Thomas said after a few seconds of chuckling. “I know we did some great things, and we continue to build to do some great things. If we didn’t turn the ball this past week, you never know what the score could have been, or what the game could have been. I felt as a group, as a team, from watching film, we went out and played great ball. We were physical and I think we took over the game, despite those turnovers. “If we can go out and do that each week, especially on the offensive side of the ball, we can be a dangerous team.”
  10. Seattle safety Earl Thomas , who has been the subject of trade talks between the Seahawks and Cowboys, claims that before today’s game, Cowboys coaches approached him and asked if he was ready to get traded.Asked if today’s game could have been his last as a Seahawk, Thomas said it’s possible.“Yeah, of course, I heard chatter, people were coming up to me and saying a trade might happen,” Thomas said. “Even pregame, a couple Cowboys coaches came up to me, I don’t know if they were playing psychological games, but they were like Cheap Will Dissly Jersey , ‘You ready for the trade tomorrow?'”Thomas had two interceptions and said that if it was his last game as a Seahawk, he’s happy with the way he’s going out.“If it was, I had a damn good time. I’d go out like that if I had to,” Thomas said. “I just want to be appreciated. That’s it.”Thomas also acknowledged that it’s possible the Cowboys’ coaches were joking.“I don’t know if they were joking or serious or not. I was just minding my business and my routine and they came up and a couple guys said something,” Thomas said.If these coaches were serious, they were flagrantly violating the league’s tampering rules. And even if they were joking they could find themselves in trouble with the league office. If Thomas’s account of those pregame conversations is accurate, those coaches had better hope no audio of the exchange makes its way to the league office.Snap Reactions: Notes on the Seahawks’ snap counts from Sunday’s loss to the Broncos More so than usual, the Seattle Seahawks’ snap counts on Sunday were of interest. A couple of contributing factors—mainly the health of certain players and altitude—led to curious usage for a few players.Every week, we’re going to go over any player’s snap counts that are worth noting or otherwise worth discussion. First, here are the full snap counts from offense, defense and special teams from Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos:Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny’s equal workloadsIn Seattle’s first game with both Carson and Penny Cheap Earl Thomas III Jersey , the two backs finished with the same number of snaps: 25 each (44%).This is a curious decision by the coaching staff. On Thursday, Brian Schottenheimer was asked how the running back group would split the workload. He stressed they didn’t have a specific split in mind, saying:Out of the gate, it was clear Carson’s form he came into training camp with had carried into the regular season. His first two carries went for 34 yards (essentially book-ending the first quarter) only for Penny to get two consecutive drives, where he struggled.Meanwhile, as former Field Gulls writer Sam Gold so aptly put it, Carson literally jumped a dude:Between Carson’s tremendous form and Penny’s uninspiring play, the rotation between the two left something to be desired.Earl Thomas’s usageDespite only being added to the active roster on Saturday, Thomas starting the game came to the surprise of no one. However, playing his first game since January’s Pro Bowl, he was eased back in Sebastian Janikowski Jersey , sitting out an entire drive after picking off Case Keenum. After the game, Carroll admitted they were resting Thomas “As much as they could.” Carroll later said they wished they had played Thomas even less.In total, Thomas played 86% of the defense’s snaps. Perhaps Bradley McDougald’s injury forced the Seahawks to play Thomas more than they would have liked. The more interesting part of Thomas’s workload was how it was handled. Would Seattle have been better off featuring Thomas on every drive, while spelling him on early downs? Denver’s first touchdown drive, which came on an all-too-easy six plays, was with Thomas on the sideline. Dion Jordan and Frank Clark aren’t 100%One of the most discouraging parts of the Seahawks’ opening day loss was how poorly Seattle played along the defensive line. A contributing factor towards this was Jordan and Clark’s workload. Jordan played just 20% of snaps — no surprise — while Clark played 58%. The ends were led by Rasheem Green (62%) and and Quinton Jefferson (65%). This, more than likely, was temporary. Jordan is working back from a stress fracture in his leg, while Clark began training camp limited as he recovered from hand surgery. However, while the duo remains slowed, Jefferson and Green will be forced into roles larger than the ones planned for them. As the season goes on Barkevious Mingo Jersey , expect Green and Jefferson’s snaps to fall into the 45-55% range. With a lower workload, the entire unit’s effectiveness should increase. Doug Baldwin slowed, even before leavingI don’t have much to add here, but it’s still worth noting. Before leaving the game for good ahead of the second half, Baldwin played just 11 of 26 first half snaps. Of course, he missed some after initially leaving, but still perhaps a sign of what was/is to come with Baldwin playing with pain in 2018. They’ll be managing his work and likely even more so now. With a long week—the Seahawks don’t play until Monday night—the rotations should begin to settle in Week 2. Thomas will be back to full speed, while Clark and Jordan will be another week closer. In the coming days, we’ll get a better idea of Baldwin’s health moving forward. Sunday’s loss was just the beginning and all reactions should be tempered.
  11. Los Angeles Chargers Undrafted Free Agents to Watch The UDFA signing period is a mad dash to sign some of the biggest names that did not get to hear their name get called during the draft. There are some really good players that somehow slip through the cracks and it’s every other team’s loss when they miss out on some of these guys. In the Chargers’ UDFA haul , they signed some big-time players on the defensive side of the ball but offensive-minded fans may have found the other side of the ball lacking in any sort of star power. However, that didn’t stop our team from digging into the film and finding a guy or two who we really like or who we believe has a good shot at making the final 53-man roster.Garrett Sisti: I think Ben Johnson the Tight End from Kansas is interesting. The two things that’ll earn Johnson some work on this team is his blocking skills & Special Teams ability. He tested well at his Pro Day and even before the Hunter Henry injury I think Johnson would’ve made some noise in camp and in play as the 3rd Tight End, now it just might be for the backup behind Virgil Green.Matthew Stanley: I think FB Anthony Manzo-Lewis is my favorite UDFA player on offense. He is a punishing blocker and a very effective pass catcher out of the backfield. With Hunter Henry out for the year, the Chargers are going to need to get creative and I think Manzo-Lewis is a versatile weapon that gives them some options.Jamie Hoyle:I have to go with Ben Johnson, as well. He looks like he’s capable of making plays as a receiver at all three levels of a defense, he’s a willing and capable blocker, and he’s athletic enough to help on special teams. He has a solid opportunity to soar up the depth chart with a good showing in training camp and the preseason.Jamie Sewell: I think J.J Jones, WR from West Georgia is going to be fun to watch in Preseason. He ran a 4.35 40 yard dash, a 6.83 3 cone and a 38 inch vertical jump. Problem is, he only weighs 173 lb and he had just 24 catches for 278 yards in his final year of college ball. I think his chances of winning a spot on the roster as a WR are virtually zero, but he handled punt returns in college, and Special Teams could be his key to making the team.Michael Peterson: I really like offensive lineman Chris Durant out of William & Mary. The guy was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Tribe and immediately stood out when I threw on his film. What popped the most for me was that he is spews the fundamentals in his technique. He’s quick-footed and patient in pass protection , only striking when the moment is right. He isn’t the strongest cat on the field but he sure knows how to create leverage in the run game with proper hand-technique.I saw a lot of the “project” offensive tackles this year go in the 3rd-5th round just because of their height and weight combos. Durant is years ahead of most of the linemen drafted in terms of the little things he does right and I believe he could be a serious back-up option to left tackle Russell Okung. Oakland and the Los Angeles Chargers both come into Sunday's game ranked in the Top 10 in total offense. The matchup between AFC West rivals is likely to come down to who has the greatest success running the ball.Both teams had a 100-yard rusher in their wins last week. The Raiders' Marshawn Lynch had 130 yards in a 45-42 overtime victory over Cleveland , while the Chargers' Melvin Gordon gained 104 yards on the ground in a 29-27 win over San Francisco .Lynch and Gordon are both ranked in the Top 10 in rushing. Lynch is fourth with 300 yards and has shown flashes of being back to the level he displayed in Seattle from 2011-14, when he had four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Gordon is seventh with 276 yards.Both players are showing they are physical runners in different ways. Lynch has generated 77.3 percent of his yards after contact according to SportRadar, the highest percentage among the top 24 backs. Gordon is tied for third in broken tackles with 12."There's not a lot of backs that can say they run the football like he does. He still has elusiveness and speed," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said about Lynch. "This guy likes the physical grind and I think he feeds off of it."Gordon is also making an impact in the passing game as he is tied for the Chargers' lead in receptions with 17. That has allowed him to lead the AFC in yards from scrimmage with 475."He's really done a great job as a receiver and really been a factor to make huge plays for us," Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "I think he has been driven to get his game to another level, and I think we're seeing the benefit to that. He's worked hard. He's studied it."Both teams are looking for a win to avoid falling to 0-2 in division games. Quarterback Philip Rivers said the Chargers need to start stringing together wins to avoid falling further behind unbeaten Kansas City."I think we're just playing a little better all the way around. A little more complementary all the way around," Rivers said. "But certainly, you know, this is no time to keep going win-loss, win-loss Womens Caleb Sturgis Jersey , win-loss. So it's an opportunity for us to get our second win in a row and get above .500 and keep going."Here are some other things to watch as the Chargers look for their third straight victory over the Raiders:CARR VS. RIVERSOakland's Derek Carr and Rivers have split their first eight meetings. Both are coming into the game with momentum.Carr is looking for his third straight 300-yard game, which would be the first time that has happened in his five-year career. Rivers has thrown 11 touchdowns, tying for the most he has thrown in the first four games.PASS RUSH HELPThe Chargers are hoping defensive tackle Corey Liuget's return from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancers helps improve a pass rush that has struggled.Los Angeles has only eight sacks as Melvin Ingram has been frequently been double-teamed. Defensive end Joey Bosa will miss his fifth straight game due to a foot injury.ROOKIE TACKLESThe Raiders will have an untested tackle this week after right tackle Donald Penn was placed on IR with a groin injury. Rookie Brandon Parker will step in and team with fellow rookie Kolton Miller, who is on the left side protecting Carr. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be the first time since the 1970 merger that the Raiders will have two rookie tackles starting in a game.DEFENSIVE HELPThe Raiders hope the anticipated debut of cornerback Daryl Worley will help eliminate the big plays that have plagued the defense. Oakland has allowed a league-worst five 50-yard or longer plays and is tied for second worst with 23 plays allowed of at least 20 yards. Worley should provide a needed boost in the secondary as he returns from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.WHOSE HOME GAME?The Raiders left Los Angeles in 1994, but they still have a large and boisterous contingent of fans in the area. When the Raiders played a preseason game against the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 21, it sounded like a Raiders home game. Even though the StubHub Center seats only 27,000, it is likely the crowd will be predominantly silver and black.The Chargers have won five of their past six at StubHub, but it hasn't felt like a home-field advantage. Last Sunday's game against the 49ers appeared to have more San Francisco fans.AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed to this story.Follow Joe Reedy at joereedy Custom Tennessee Titans Jerseys
  12. Los Angeles Chargers Undrafted Free Agents to Watch The UDFA signing period is a mad dash to sign some of the biggest names that did not get to hear their name get called during the draft. There are some really good players that somehow slip through the cracks and it’s every other team’s loss when they miss out on some of these guys. In the Chargers’ UDFA haul , they signed some big-time players on the defensive side of the ball but offensive-minded fans may have found the other side of the ball lacking in any sort of star power. However, that didn’t stop our team from digging into the film and finding a guy or two who we really like or who we believe has a good shot at making the final 53-man roster.Garrett Sisti: I think Ben Johnson the Tight End from Kansas is interesting. The two things that’ll earn Johnson some work on this team is his blocking skills & Special Teams ability. He tested well at his Pro Day and even before the Hunter Henry injury I think Johnson would’ve made some noise in camp and in play as the 3rd Tight End, now it just might be for the backup behind Virgil Green.Matthew Stanley: I think FB Anthony Manzo-Lewis is my favorite UDFA player on offense. He is a punishing blocker and a very effective pass catcher out of the backfield. With Hunter Henry out for the year, the Chargers are going to need to get creative and I think Manzo-Lewis is a versatile weapon that gives them some options.Jamie Hoyle:I have to go with Ben Johnson, as well. He looks like he’s capable of making plays as a receiver at all three levels of a defense, he’s a willing and capable blocker, and he’s athletic enough to help on special teams. He has a solid opportunity to soar up the depth chart with a good showing in training camp and the preseason.Jamie Sewell: I think J.J Jones, WR from West Georgia is going to be fun to watch in Preseason. He ran a 4.35 40 yard dash, a 6.83 3 cone and a 38 inch vertical jump. Problem is, he only weighs 173 lb and he had just 24 catches for 278 yards in his final year of college ball. I think his chances of winning a spot on the roster as a WR are virtually zero, but he handled punt returns in college, and Special Teams could be his key to making the team.Michael Peterson: I really like offensive lineman Chris Durant out of William & Mary. The guy was a four-year starter at left tackle for the Tribe and immediately stood out when I threw on his film. What popped the most for me was that he is spews the fundamentals in his technique. He’s quick-footed and patient in pass protection , only striking when the moment is right. He isn’t the strongest cat on the field but he sure knows how to create leverage in the run game with proper hand-technique.I saw a lot of the “project” offensive tackles this year go in the 3rd-5th round just because of their height and weight combos. Durant is years ahead of most of the linemen drafted in terms of the little things he does right and I believe he could be a serious back-up option to left tackle Russell Okung. Oakland and the Los Angeles Chargers both come into Sunday's game ranked in the Top 10 in total offense. The matchup between AFC West rivals is likely to come down to who has the greatest success running the ball.Both teams had a 100-yard rusher in their wins last week. The Raiders' Marshawn Lynch had 130 yards in a 45-42 overtime victory over Cleveland , while the Chargers' Melvin Gordon gained 104 yards on the ground in a 29-27 win over San Francisco .Lynch and Gordon are both ranked in the Top 10 in rushing. Lynch is fourth with 300 yards and has shown flashes of being back to the level he displayed in Seattle from 2011-14, when he had four straight 1,000-yard seasons. Gordon is seventh with 276 yards.Both players are showing they are physical runners in different ways. Lynch has generated 77.3 percent of his yards after contact according to SportRadar, the highest percentage among the top 24 backs. Gordon is tied for third in broken tackles with 12."There's not a lot of backs that can say they run the football like he does. He still has elusiveness and speed," Raiders coach Jon Gruden said about Lynch. "This guy likes the physical grind and I think he feeds off of it."Gordon is also making an impact in the passing game as he is tied for the Chargers' lead in receptions with 17. That has allowed him to lead the AFC in yards from scrimmage with 475."He's really done a great job as a receiver and really been a factor to make huge plays for us," Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. "I think he has been driven to get his game to another level, and I think we're seeing the benefit to that. He's worked hard. He's studied it."Both teams are looking for a win to avoid falling to 0-2 in division games. Quarterback Philip Rivers said the Chargers need to start stringing together wins to avoid falling further behind unbeaten Kansas City."I think we're just playing a little better all the way around. A little more complementary all the way around," Rivers said. "But certainly, you know, this is no time to keep going win-loss, win-loss Womens Caleb Sturgis Jersey , win-loss. So it's an opportunity for us to get our second win in a row and get above .500 and keep going."Here are some other things to watch as the Chargers look for their third straight victory over the Raiders:CARR VS. RIVERSOakland's Derek Carr and Rivers have split their first eight meetings. Both are coming into the game with momentum.Carr is looking for his third straight 300-yard game, which would be the first time that has happened in his five-year career. Rivers has thrown 11 touchdowns, tying for the most he has thrown in the first four games.PASS RUSH HELPThe Chargers are hoping defensive tackle Corey Liuget's return from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on performance enhancers helps improve a pass rush that has struggled.Los Angeles has only eight sacks as Melvin Ingram has been frequently been double-teamed. Defensive end Joey Bosa will miss his fifth straight game due to a foot injury.ROOKIE TACKLESThe Raiders will have an untested tackle this week after right tackle Donald Penn was placed on IR with a groin injury. Rookie Brandon Parker will step in and team with fellow rookie Kolton Miller, who is on the left side protecting Carr. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, this will be the first time since the 1970 merger that the Raiders will have two rookie tackles starting in a game.DEFENSIVE HELPThe Raiders hope the anticipated debut of cornerback Daryl Worley will help eliminate the big plays that have plagued the defense. Oakland has allowed a league-worst five 50-yard or longer plays and is tied for second worst with 23 plays allowed of at least 20 yards. Worley should provide a needed boost in the secondary as he returns from a four-game suspension for violating the league's policies on substance abuse and personal conduct.WHOSE HOME GAME?The Raiders left Los Angeles in 1994, but they still have a large and boisterous contingent of fans in the area. When the Raiders played a preseason game against the Rams at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Aug. 21, it sounded like a Raiders home game. Even though the StubHub Center seats only 27,000, it is likely the crowd will be predominantly silver and black.The Chargers have won five of their past six at StubHub, but it hasn't felt like a home-field advantage. Last Sunday's game against the 49ers appeared to have more San Francisco fans.AP Pro Football Writer Josh Dubow contributed to this story.Follow Joe Reedy at joereedy Custom Tennessee Titans Jerseys
  13. Assuming the offense does it thing again - extending drives , scoring points but this time avoiding turnovers - the key to beating the Raiders will be stopping Derek Carr and his handful of offensive weapons.Carr, who passed for more than 300 yards but threw three interceptions against the Rams, is no slouch. But he’s also easily rattled. With Carr’s ability to get the ball out quickly, sacking him isn’t always easy - but it’s not necessarily the end goal. Just “hurrying” Carr is often enough to play to the Broncos’ strengths.Defensive coordinator Joe Woods pointed out that while it’s frustrating to the pass rushers that Carr can get rid of the ball, it’s not bad for the defense overall.“It is [frustrating] those guys, but for me, as long as the coverage is tight, it can be an advantage for us, too,” he said. “We’re a more aggressive coverage team. We play more man than a lot of teams, so if they want to get rid of the ball quick, we want to be tight in coverage. If they hold on to it, then our rushers have got to get home. So, a little bit of both.”Von Miller said the key is getting your hands up to combat the quick release.“Hands up, get your hands up,” he said. “Try to get them third and long. I mean, at third and long you’ve got to take your time and throw the ball anyways. If you’re throwing the ball quick on third and long, we’ve got great corners. We’ve just got to let those guys spread. Three-and-outs happen when you throw the ball quick and don’t just want an incomplete ball. Yeah, we’ve just got to get our hands up and hopefully he’ll hold it. Rush like he’s going to hold the ball.”After Miller’s monster day against the Seahawks, no team will sleep on him. But with a strong defensive line pushing up the middle and talented edge rushers opposite Miller, it’s going to be hard for any offense to account for all the variables.“Von, we all know, is just a different type of player. Athletically, he’s gifted. He can do it all,” Woods added. “The thing we want to do is we wanted to create more balance in terms of what we were doing this year—in terms of our pass rush. With [Bradley] Chubb, Shane [Ray],Shaq [Barrett], they give us the ability to do that. So , if teams want to slide a protection his way, put chippers his way, then we’ve got to win on the other side to make them play honest. I think the plan that we had worked out for us.”Indeed it did with six total sacks on Russell Wilson, three from Miller but three from four other players - Chris Harris Jr, Barrett, Darian Stewart and Chubb.But Miller believes the Raiders’ offensive line is the best in the NFL with Donald Penn and first-round rookie talent Kolton Miller, so it won’t be an easy day for this defense.“It’s a huge challenge. [Penn] is a strong guy, a big guy and one of the better tackles in the league for I don’t know how long,” Miller said. “The Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in football, in my opinion. I’m sure you all would say Dallas Cowboys, this team or that team, but to me the Oakland Raiders have the best offensive line in football. And they made it a whole lot better with the Kolton Miller pick and moving Donald Penn to the right side. Really all five guys are really Pro-Bowl solid, offensive linemen.”And between Carr, Marshawn Lynch, Jared Cook and even Amari Cooper, there are plenty of variables the defense will have to account for too. For all the jokes about the aging team, allowing Khalil Mack to be traded and Jon Gruden’s $100 million contract, Miller knows better than to discount an AFC West rivalry.“People don’t really want to play Derek either. He’s not going to give you a chance to rush the passer,” Miller laughed, noting that the average time for QBs to get rid of the ball is 2.5 seconds, and Carr was getting rid of it in 2.2 on Monday night. “He’s going to get the ball out very quick and he’s very accurate with his throws. They have a great offensive line, a great running back and great coaches over there. Pretty tough team that we’re going up against.” The crew at 1st & 10 @ 10 on Orange and Blue Radio had an intriguing discussion about the Broncos problems during the first 15 minutes of their broadcast today that is well worth the listen.Ryan Edwards, Andrew Mason and Steve Atwater were just as frustrated as the rest of Broncos Country over the loss to the Jets and had some interesting things to say about it, beginning with the fact that if the Broncos were going to guess how the Jets could beat them on Sunday it would have been exactly as it happened - with a couple of deep passes to Robby Anderson and some “big gash plays” from Isaiah Crowell and Bilal Powell.Bingo.Listen to "Podcast 1st and 10 10-8-18 HOUR 1" on Spreaker.“The Jets had three plays of 50 yards or more from scrimmage - the most the Broncos have allowed in any game since Week 17 of 2009,” Mason noted, pointing out it was the last game of the 2009 season against the Chiefs when Jamaal Charles “went off against the Broncos.”So basically, Mase added, it’s been 127 games since the Broncos defense allowed that many 50+ plays. Atwater was frustrated over the lack of contain that seems to be happening week after week with the defense.“We’ve got to get that contain together ,” he said, adding that most of the time if the defenders stayed where they lined up, they’d be in right place for where the play develops. “If they just stood there, kept that position, they’d have great contain. But because they run up the field, they run themselves out of the play.”Mase also voiced his frustration over a familiar topic - the lack of running plays for the Broncos’ offense. Noting that the Broncos rushed 15 times in the first three quarters out of 47 plays despite being Top 3 in the league at rushing, Mase was less than happy.“You’re running less than one-third of the time when either you’re leading or tied or the game is still within reach,” he said. “The thing you have to understand is that effective running means you’re going to have some ‘no gains,’ some ‘runs for losses.’”And a little “fun fact” about Sunday that many Broncos fans probably overlooked or didn’t know, former Broncos offensive coordinator Rick Dennison, who is the “running game coordinator” for the Jets, has now been responsible for engineering two wins against the Broncos (including the Bills’ win last year over the Broncos when Dennison was their OC).Not only that, but Dennison is the “run-game coordinator of record” for Isaiah Crowell setting a league record of 14.6 yards per carry in a game with at least 15 attempts.But regardless of all the shortcomings, none of the 1st & 10 crew buys into the noise that the players quit on Sunday.“They lost, but I don’t think they quit,” Mason said, adding that the ‘Oh they quit; they have no heart’ comments are one of things “that is easy for fans to say, but rarely if ever is that true. You got beat for different reasons, but I don’t think they quit.”Atwater agreed. And while he doesn’t think the players “quit,” he does believe they got embarrassed for poor play.“Guys went out and played hard and got their butts whooped. They’ve got to tip their hat to the Jets because Jets came out ready to play ball right from the jump,” said a guy who knows a thing or two about how to play defense. “I know one thing - we did not execute the way you are supposed execute, and when that happens, [this kind of game] is what happens - 300 yards rushing and you’re one of the top rushing defenses in the league? That’s unacceptable, and I ‘m sure their pride is hurt. Hopefully they go back to the board and fight and make sure this doesn’t ever happen again.”But then Mase finished the segment with a dagger.“The thing is, we’re talking about some ridiculous number every few weeks. Whether it’s Derek Carr going 29 of 32 against your pass defense or it’s giving up 51 to Philadelphia last year,” Mason pointed out. “This team is 8-17 dating back to late 2016. Maybe it’s just not that good?”
  14. Youth Russell Wilson Jersey , the Seattle Seahawks had an open roster spot. J.D. McKissic isn’t eligible to be activated from the injured reserve for another week, and so a receiver was expected to be added. Keenan Reynolds, previously on the active roster before returning to the practice squad, would’ve been the safe assumption. Instead, Malik Turner, another practice squad receiver, has reportedly been promoted to the 53-man roster. Turner (6’2”, 202 pounds) was with the Seahawks throughout preseason and appeared to have good chemistry with Alex McGough, finishing August with five catches, 91 yards and a touchdown. The addition of Turner, when official, will bring Seattle back up to a full roster of 53. Turner’s promotion also drops the team’s practice squad back to nine, though guard J.J. Dielman could return, after being waived on Tuesday in favor of Tyrone Swoopes. The Seahawks’ juggling of their practice squad has been confusing, but as it stands, the group consists of: Justin Currie (LB/S), McGough (QB), Elijah Nkansah (T), Kalan Reed (CB), Jordan Roos (G), Caleb Scott (WR), Reynolds (WR), Swoopes (TE) and Simeon Thomas (CB).Pete Carroll might be holding the Seahawks back I’ll start this piece by saying the following up front:Pete Carroll is good at coaching and recruiting defensive backs. The list of players who have gone on to be perennial All-Pros or starters in the league despite draft position is long. Richard Sherman, Byron Maxwell Womens Tom Johnson Jersey , Kam Chancellor, Brandon Browner, DeShawn Shead, Shaquill Griffin and Walter Thurmond all succeeded with the Seattle Seahawks, and (some) were coveted elsewhere despite being drafted in the 3rd round or below. Carroll has, in the past, fostered an environment where players were rewarded for their hard work in practice. If you show out, you get to play.Carroll doesn’t try to change his players to be something they are not. He and his coaching staff have historically worked toaccentuate the strengths of their players and mitigate their weaknesses.Now with that out of the way, lets talk about the elephant(s) in the room. Carroll and his strategic and tactical approach to football no longer work. Carroll’s role as both coach and pseudo-GM harms the team. Carroll’s inability to adapt to the recent changes in football makes keeping him around more trouble than it’s worth.Pete Carroll’s strategic failingsRun GameCarroll’s philosophy centers around playing stout defense and running the ball. The former has pretty obvious benefits while the latter has the advantage of running the clock and, despite the protestations of the pro-run crowd, seemingly nothing else. Despite the prevalence of data literally everywhere on the internet saying that teams run too much, and the fact that the rate of success for drafting a running back in the first round is about the same as you would get from drafting one later, the Seattle Seahawks drafted Rashaad Penny with the 27th overall pick in this year’s draft. They did this despite having Chris Carson, Mike Davis and the mercurial C.J. Prosise on the roster, and a plethora of running backs available later in the draft, like Nyheim Hines, Royce Freeman, Derrius Guice, Ito Smith, Nick Chubb and Kerryon Johnson. This on top of a pressing need for pass rush help. Not investing resources there is inexcusable, especially with Frank Clark in the final year of his rookie deal.What’s worse is that the things that matter more, like the number of men in the box, offensive line performance and run scheme (based on work done by Josh Hermsmeyer) were not addressed. Unless you consider street free agents D.J. Fluker and J.R. Sweezy, and OC Brian Schottenheimer “addressing” the problem. (I’ll spot them Solari Youth 12th Fan Jersey , he looks like a not bad hire.)Investment of resources on offense vs defenseInvesting on defense is fine if you have the talent for it, and historically the ‘Hawks have had that, with a bunch of Pro-Bowlers and All-Pros on the defensive side of the ball. The problem is, unlike at QB where a single player’s transcendent talent can make or break your team’s performance, on defense you need a group of players performing at a high level to even stand a chance. A group of players who are at a significantly higher risk of injury than your franchise QB. (I hate Glendale, Arizona so much.)4th down strategyI don’t mean to harp on this more than I already have, but the 4th down strategy this team is employing is both baffling and self-destructive. Seattle had 10 4th downs over the course of Sunday’s game. Of those 10, one was the final play of the game, a 52-yard field goal by Sebastian Janikowski, so we can safely ignore that one. Of the remaining nine 4th downs, the Seahawks faced 1, 4, 1, 20, 1, 1, 17, 1 & 3 yards to gain for a 1st down. Punting or kicking on the long yardage situations is perfectly reasonable in a vacuum, so we’re going to evaluate the seven plays that were viable options.On 4th-and-1 situations, unless your offensive line is a veritable dumpster fire, you should always go for it, based on some older research done by the NY Times. There were five such situations on Sunday and they went for it twice, succeeding once. and literally shooting themselves in the foot the other time by trying to pass—and not a play action pass, either. The other two cases on 4th down Womens Justin Britt Jersey , a field goal attempt on 4th-and-4 at the Cardinals’ 20-yard line. and punting on 4th-and-3 from their own 29 were justifiable decisions. That leaves three choices to punt, at Arizona’s 35- and 44-yard lines, as well as Seattle’s 44-yard line, and cost the Seahawks at least the equivalent of a field goal and possibly more. All of this is being done to minimize the risk on defense, but ends up actually hurting the offense and could cost the team 1-2 wins over the course of a season.NY TimesPete Carroll as part GM, part head coach negatively affects decision making on the teamSeattle traded a 2nd round pick for Sheldon Richardson only to let him walk in free agency (for reasons), and a 2nd and 3rd for Duane Brown all in the last 18 months. Those were bad enough, but the failure to offload Earl Thomas before the draft has seemingly hurt both parties, with Thomas being placed on injured reserve in the coming days. I’d imagine that a large part of the reasoning behind this is that Carroll knows how much his system relies on a Hall of Fame player at the free safety position. Carroll is also on thinner ice than at any other time with the Seahawks, having missed out on the playoffs last year, and with a lower chance of making it there again this year than last even with Thomas. We’ve seen for years that every Thomas absence is accompanied by a pretty horrific performance against the pass, particularly deep passes. It’s possible, even likely, that Carroll chose the short-term (potential) win over the future of the franchise. Pete Carroll doesn’t want to/can’t change his approachSome of the things we’ve seen this year, particularly on offense, have been troubling to say the least. The thing is, signs of these problems have been obvious for at least 2.5 years but have been masked by an incredibly talented and productive defense. This offseason saw Carroll clean house and double-down on his approach to football. A tiger can’t change his stripes anymore than a leopard can hide his spots, and Pete Carroll only knows how to play and win one way. This is a way of playing that has served him incredibly well in college, and in the NFL, when he had an overwhelming talent advantage on defense. You can’t play scared in the league anymore, you can’t run the ball—and your backs—into the ground and expect to win. You can’t run a vanilla offense that anyone on the couch can decipher and predict with reasonable accuracy. You can’t do what you did in 2010 and in 2018 and if I’m Paul Allen, I’m starting a search for a new coach right now and doing so quietly, just in case.
  15. Podcast: Jets crush Detroit in Monday Night Opener The 2018 season got off to a tremendous start last night for the Jets. They blew the Lions out in Detroit by a 48-17 score. A monster third quarter saw New York score 31 unanswered points , turning a 17-17 tie into a laugher.The score being tied to that point was not, however, a sign that the Jets were playing poorly. They had the better of the play from the second snap from scrimmage.It was a solid debut from Sam Darnold , whose NFL career got off to a terrible start in his first snap from scrimmage as he threw an ugly pick six. Things quickly turned around for him.There were plenty of other stars on offense and defense. On today’s podcast we will discuss them and this Week 1 victory.Thanks as always for listening. You can subscribe to Locked on Jets on iTunes or Spotify to have the show automatically delivered to you each day. The Jets got thumped by the Vikings on Sunday, which ended a three-game winning streak and left the team at 3-4 on the season.It’s not an unfamiliar spot for the Jets. They won three in a row early last season, but followed that up with three losses in a row and went 2-9 over the final 11 weeks of the season as just about everything that could go wrong did go wrong.Given the result against Minnesota , some might wonder if the Jets are headed for a similar downward spiral this time around. Linebacker Darron Lee said that isn’t going happen.“It’s nothing to sit here and hit the panic button about,” Lee said, via “We’re fine. No one is worried or panicking here. We’re fine as a group. We’re a lot more close-knit [than last year]. I know in a couple years past , since I’ve been here, the wheels have fallen off and all hell would break loose. But we’re fine, and no one is panicking here. We weren’t as close-knit as a group as we are now. Nobody has got their head hanging down.”The Jets are headed to Chicago and Miami the next two weeks before a Week 10 home game against the Bills sends them into their bye week. Getting to that point with a record of .500 or better would go a long way toward proving Lee right about the team’s resiliency.
  16. ESPN: Keenan Allen a Clear-cut Number One Wideout Keenan Allen solidified his status as one of the game’s best wide receivers in 2017. He went on a historic three-week run and was among the league leaders in both receptions and receiving yards.A healthy Allen was a problem for defenses. His route running ability and knack for converting on third down were key for the Los Angeles offense last season. Looking ahead towards next season , expectations are high for 2017 Comeback Player of the Year. ESPN’s Mike Clay and NFL Nation reporters listed Allen as a “Clear No. 1” receiver heading into the 2018 season. The list of clear number one options was lengthy, but Allen was near the top of the list. His name was among players like Antonio Brown, Julio Jones, and Odell Beckham Jr. Clearly, reporters around the country have recognized Allen as a special talent. ESPN’s Eric Williams had this to say about KA13:Last season, Allen put up gaudy numbers. Catching 102 passes for 1393 yards and six touchdowns. Should fans expect a repeat season?Assuming Allen can remain healthy, he may have an even better season. The loss of Hunter Henry will be a big blow to the Chargers are third downs. Rivers will likely be eyeing Allen when the team needs a big play. He could also get some more looks in the red zone without a legitimate tight end option on the roster. Hopefully a talented receiving corps can follow Allen’s lead. Travis Benjamin and Tyrell Williams had solid campaigns last season, but 2017 first-round pick Mike Williams has the chance to explode onto the scene.Where does Keenan Allen rank among the best wideouts in the league? Is he a top-five option? Or does he just miss the cut? OAKLAND (1-3) at LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (2-2)Sunday, 4:05 p.m. ET, CBSOPENING LINE - Chargers by 7RECORD VS. SPREAD - Raiders 2-2 Los Angeles Chargers T-Shirt , Chargers 1-3SERIES RECORD - Raiders lead 63-52-2LAST MEETING - Chargers beat Raiders 30-10, Dec. 31, 2017LAST WEEK - Raiders beat Browns 45-42, OT; Chargers beat 49ers 29-27AP PRO32 RANKING - Raiders No. 27, Chargers No. 17RAIDERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (2), RUSH (16), PASS (4).RAIDERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (27), RUSH (30), PASS (17).CHARGERS OFFENSE - OVERALL (9), RUSH (8) Los Angeles Chargers Hats , PASS (13).CHARGERS DEFENSE - OVERALL (23), RUSH (17T), PASS (21).STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES - Chargers have won past two meetings. . Raiders coach Jon Gruden has 7-3 record vs. Chargers. . Raiders had 565 yards of offense last week vs. Browns, second most for franchise since 1970 as Gruden got first win in return to coaching. . QB Derek Carr fourth in league in completions (120) and completion percentage (71.0). . Raiders one of three teams with 100-yard receiver in every game this season (Vikings and Buccaneers). . RB Marshawn Lynch fourth in league in rushing with 300 yards. . WR Amari Cooper averaging 6.7 receptions and 87 yards in past three games. . S Reggie Nelson leads active players with 37 interceptions. . Chargers have won six of past seven at home. . QB Philip Rivers has thrown 41 TDs vs. Raiders, tied with Broncos for most against any opponent. He has thrown three or more TDs in four of past five games dating back to last season. . RB Melvin Gordon has three 100-yard rushing games since start of last season. Gordon leads AFC in yards from scrimmage (475) and first downs (25). . RB Austin Ekeler averaging 8.6 scrimmage yards per touch, leads league among running backs. . TE Antonio Gates has touchdown in past four games vs. Raiders. . Rookie S Derwin James first player since Jets' Kerry Rhodes in 2006 to have three or more sacks and an interception in first four games. . DT Corey Liguet returns from four-game suspension for violating league policy on performance enhancers. . DE Joey Bosa will miss fifth straight game due to foot injury. ... Fantasy tip: Chargers WR Keenan Allen had nine receptions for 133 yards and TD in last meeting vs. Raiders. Allen has eight or more catches, 100 or more yards and TD in last two games vs. division opponent. Custom Washington Redskins Jerseys
  17. Broncos vs. Seahawks: Score predictions for Week 1 Each week , the Mile High Report staff collectively tries to predict the outcome of the Denver Broncos game. Some of us embrace our inner homer, while others stubbornly resist it. The good news for homers is that Week 1 is usually when fans are the most optimistic. As is evident by the amount of participation in this predictions post from the staff today.Therefore, we collectively predicted the Broncos will defeat the Seattle Seahawks 26-14 in their home opener. That sounds like a fun game to watch if you ask me! It’s also quite a stark contrast from the survey Mile High Report ran this week where fans predicted the Broncos would win by seven. Here is how we each predicted the final score individually.Broncos 23, Seahawks 13 - Tim LynchBroncos 20, Seahawks 7 - Jeff EssaryBroncos 23 , Seahawks 13 - Taylor KotheBroncos 24, Seahawks 10 - Joe RowlesBroncos 34, Seahawks 20 - Pete BaronBroncos 27, Seahawks 23 - SadaraineBroncos 31, Seahawks 24 - Laurie Lattimore-VolkmannBroncos 23 , Seahawks 16 - Adam MalnatiBroncos 30, Seahawks 10 - Scotty PayneBroncos 23, Seahawks 10 - Casey BarrettBroncos 27, Seahawks 13 - Ian St. Clair Give us your score predictions in the comments section below! Peyton Manning will be doing analysis of NFL games this season after all.ESPN and Kobe Bryant's Granity Studios announced Wednesday that Manning will be part of a football edition of the "Detail" franchise. The eight-episode series will be on the ESPN+ streaming service and debuts on Thursday.Bryant said during a phone interview with The Associated Press that he started discussions with Manning once "Detail" premiered last April."I had an idea in the back of my mind once I came up with it on where it can expand to other sports," Bryant said. "Peyton was the perfect choice. He seemingly spoke a foreign language while on the field but he can outline what he is seeing and why they are making adjustments.""Detail" debuted with 10 episodes during the NBA playoffs Youth Chris Harris Jr Jersey , often focusing on one player. The football iteration will carry the same blueprint. Manning's first episode analyzes Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen's game last week against the Minnesota Vikings.NFL Films will also work in collaboration with Granity Studios in producing and editing the series. Bryant said the series is an extension of Manning watching game film and saying what he usually wrote in his notebook.Manning was courted by Fox and ESPN for their Thursday and Monday night packages but he declined. Whether this is a first step toward him exploring a role as a full-time analyst beginning next season remains to be seen."I've always enjoyed talking football with coaches, players and passionate fans, and that's at the core of this show," Manning said in a statement. "I'm honored to help expand Kobe's Detail to a football audience."The NBA and the NFL aren't the only sports that "Detail" will focus on. A UFC edition will debut next year when ESPN takes over as the rights holder. Bryant is also interested in adding baseball and soccer editions.Bryant said a second season of NBA "Detail" is on track to debut after the All-Star break in February."I had fun looking at it analytically because that is hard to turn that off," Bryant said. "It is taking everything as is but seeing how film should be looked at. There is a curiosity in watching the game and the broad concepts. Then everything opens up as a young kid and athlete."Bryant was in Minneapolis on Wednesday but said he is excited to see LeBron James' home debut with the Lakers on Saturday against Houston."I think they are going to do better than what most people think. It is an exciting time for LA and to have that energy back ," Bryant said.Follow Joe Reedy at s://joereedy
  18. For the majority of the last two games Womens Nick Vannett Jersey , both losses in which they were significantly worse on defense than the expectation, the Seattle Seahawks played Tedric Thompson at free safety and Delano Hill at strong safety. Fourth and third round picks in 2017 respectively, Thompson and Hill were not expected to be playing this much when the season began and you can’t really fault the defense for losing a step without Earl Thomas and Bradley McDougald, because that would be the expectation. Trying to solve the past does absolutely nothing for the Seahawks though, now it’s just a matter of what do they do about the safety position in the future?Because it’s clearly one of Pete Carroll’s most valued positions and while the focus amid the downfall doesn’t necessarily need to be readjusted to shine a light on Thompson and Hill, it certainly can’t be ignored that Seattle is spending the most money in the NFL at that position but without top-tier results.The Seahawks are spending $26.2 million at the safety position this season, most in the league by a margin of nearly $4 million, with the New England Patriots coming in second. (The Pats also have one of the longest-running safety duos in the NFL, another sign that Bill Belichick and Carroll are so much more alike than many may realize.) One of the major problems that Seattle has run into of course is the fact that Chancellor is making $9.58 million and not playing, while Thomas is making $10.4 million and will finish the season with just four games played. Now you can add McDougald to that list, a player making $3.33 million who has missed most of the last two games.That’s over $23 million worth of safety for one season and McDougald has been the most productive by far, and his status moving forward has to be significantly in doubt given that he’s left the game early in consecutive weeks.Well Youth Kam Chancellor Jersey , there’s no point in complaining about injuries, that’s a huge part of the game. Chancellor wasn’t 35 when he got hurt last season, he was only 29. Keep in mind that if this truly is the end of Kam’s career, it’s one that has ended prematurely. Four-time Pro Bowl, game-changing safeties don’t typically stop short of their 30th birthdays. A year ago, the Seahawks planned for Chancellor to still be their premier strong safety at this stage, and he’s simply not.That may have been enough for them to remain cautious before extending Thomas, and we saw what happened there. Again, Thomas is 29, not a player who would be expected to start aging out of the league given his pedigree, but his future with the Seahawks looked all but non-existent as he gave them “the Hawk” on his cart ride out of 2018. That brought Seattle down to McDougald and Thompson, and now the former part of that duo could be suffering too much to contribute significantly at a time when the Seahawks are basically do or die.The Seahawks had a plan at safety and this was not it. Thompson and Hill were the backup plan to the backup plan Womens Germain Ifedi Jersey , even if they were two of the highest-drafted DBs of the Carroll era. Carroll seems to do magic when all defensive backs, and I’m not even sure it’s fair to say that Thompson and Hill are a huge problem, or that they can’t improve to the point of being the planned starters going into 2019 (Kam and Earl were not flawless rookies and needed time to adjust to the pros as well), but Carroll’s plan at safety going into next season (assuming he’s around next season) is perhaps priority one or two for Seattle.Barring the unexpected, Chancellor will be released and save the Seahawks $8 million against the cap with $5 million in dead money.Thomas will enter free agency and most certainly talk to as many teams that aren’t Seattle as possible, finding out what the market value is for a 30-year-old free safety coming off of two out of three seasons that were ended early by a broken leg.McDougald will return on one of the best value contracts in the NFC if he stays healthy and continues to play like he did in the first half of the year.Thompson and Hill will almost certainly be around for training camp unless they utterly tank the bed in the next two months a la Steven Terrell in 2016. It’s hardly much of a safety blanket though to be a third-year, third or fourth-round pick, so Thompson and Hill will have to play well to end 2018 and/or have a great camp to solidify a spot on the roster; the problem being that neither of them have really screamed “next starter at the caliber that Carroll has demanded from Thomas or Chancellor” though, and if Carroll was willing to make Thomas the 14th overall pick to start his defense in 2010, or to extend Kam for some of the most money a safety has ever gotten in 2017, then clearly he thinks these are two of the most important positions at football.Can you trust either Thompson or Hill to live up to those expectations?The Seahawks may need to go back to nurturing that relationship with Earl and seeing what the possibilities are for a reunion in 2019 and giving him a chance to prove himself healthy in the one defense that he’s known for his entire career. I doubt that would be enough given the unpredictable nature of Earl Thomas, but I still see it as something Seattle has to be working on , especially given the obvious dropoff from an ET defense and a Seahawks defense that is sans ET. What’s Seattle’s record today if Thomas never misses a snap in 2018?The other options of course likely start with the draft. The Seahawks were close to the draft position that could have landed them Derwin James this year (he went 17th, Seattle picked 18th) but there’s no reason to lament that as a “loss.” James did not fall to the Seahawks, we don’t know what a trade-up would have cost, and we don’t know that Carroll felt James would fit into the mold of what he wants in a safety even if it does seem like any coach would want James at this point.I would imagine though that Carroll still values safety as one of the most important positions on his team, given the history of Thomas and Chancellor, using those two picks on Thompson and Hill, plus a new three-year contract for McDougald and seeing what he’s brought to the team. I think at least one safety will be drafted by the team next year and under-the-radar free agents, plus potential “move position” candidates will be scouted for ultimate value. And if any of those low-key value moves ends up working out, the Seahawks will continue to invest money and draft capital into those two spots.McDougald seems a good bet to be playing at one of those spots in 2019. The other job is likely something to be heavily evaluated in the next two months.Report: Dion Jordan activated off PUP list, will start the season on active roster Of all the moves the Seattle Seahawks will make on Saturday, it’s unlikely any will be more important than this one. After spending all of training camp and preseason on the PUP list, edge rusher Dion Jordan is reportedly being activated in time for the regular season. Jordan was placed on the PUP list following the first day of training camp Womens Quinton Jefferson Jersey , and although he was initially expected to miss just a couple weeks, his status quickly changed. Midway through August, Pete Carroll announced Seattle wouldn’t even be evaluating him until the end of the preseason, and that was the last update on Jordan’s health.Evidently, the evaluation of Jordan’s injury went well. His removal from the PUP list means he will be eligible to play as early as Week 1, though with a lingering lower body injury, the Seahawks may play it safe with Jordan. Regardless of when Jordan makes his debut, it will surely be earlier than the Week 8 debut he was facing, had he remained on the PUP list. In a limited sample size last season, Jordan was an excellent rotational player who contributed at a time when Seattle was without Cliff Avril. Although it may take a couple weeks, Jordan should end up starting for the Seahawks in 2018.
  19. Good morning Authentic Brian Winters Jersey , Gang Green Gangsters! Here are your daily New York Jets links for this - Which Jets star has been on Bears’ Mitch Trubisky’s bandwagon since high school?Pro Football Talk - Jets thought they had a real shot at Khalil Mack.NY Post - Jets won’t be able to keep this one within a TD.Elite Sports NY - New York Jets CB Trumaine Johnson still not - As injuries mount, Jets WR replacement options are scarce.Yahoo Sports - Report: Jets made big offer for Khalil Mack; Raiders wanted him out of AFC.Fox Sports - Losses have Bears in more familiar spot with Jets up next.North Jersey - How the Jets plan to slow down Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky on Sunday.NY Post - ‘Explosive’ young running back will have to impress Jets - Jets-Bears Week 8 injury report | Will Robby Anderson be out, too?ESPN - Jets make 14 little moves instead of one big one (Khalil Mack). Week 9 of the NFL season has the New York Jets coming off a second straight loss, this one to the Chicago Bears. Losers of five of their last seven games Womens Brandon Copeland Jersey , the Jets season is threatening to once again head into a death spiral. The Jets will try to avoid that fate today against their AFC East rivals the Miami Dolphins.The Dolphins come into the game struggling badly. Losers of four of their last five games, the Dolphins have allowed 27 or more points on defense to each of their last five opponents. Featuring the, ahem, less than stellar Brock Osweiler at quarterback Womens Doug Middleton Jersey , the Dolphins offense is ill equipped to overcome such terrible defensive play.The Dolphins have also given up an average of 200 rushing yards over their last three games, an enticing antidote for a struggling Jets ground game.The Jets unfortunately come into the game hurting and struggling as much as the Dolphins. With multiple weapons on offense missing the last few weeks due to injuries, the Jets offense has all but disappeared, failing to gain as much as 270 yards each of the last two games Womens Neal Sterling Jersey , both Jets losses. On the year the Jets offense has failed to score more than 17 points in five of eight games, making victory an elusive target. The Jets will be getting running back Elijah McGuire back on offense today, and hope to have wide receivers Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson back as well, giving rookie quarterback Sam Darnold some much needed weaponsto work with. It’s the Jets and the Dolphins in an AFC East grudge match Authentic Spencer Long Jersey , with each team striving to break out of a funk and keep their respective faint playoff hopes alive. Leave your comments in the section cleverly marked “comments” below. Enjoy the game everybody.
  20. The Tennessee Titans face a sense of urgency to correct the problems they have protecting their quarterback.Giving up a franchise-record 11 sacks 鈥?one off the NFL record for a game 鈥?is a beacon to defenses looking to hit quarterback Marcus Mariota."The blueprint's out there ," Mariota said Wednesday. "It's how are we going to be able to manage that and correct that so that lack of execution doesn't happen again."This franchise had never given up more than nine sacks in a game 鈥?and the last time that had happened was Oct. 31, 1971, against Cincinnati as the then-Houston Oilers. Eight different Ravens ripped through and around the Titans' offensive line to sack Mariota in last week's 21-0 shutout .Now they're preparing to face the Chargers (4-2) who piled up five sacks of their own last week in beating Cleveland, and center Ben Jones said the Titans have to hold up no matter how many defenders are coming after the quarterback."If they are bringing more guys or beating us late or right off the bat, we have to be on the right guys and have to hold up longer," Jones said after the loss. "We put ourselves in bad situations. We were in third-and-long in a lot of situations. The routes take longer, everything takes longer, so we have got to be better and not put ourselves in those situations."Making the sack-filled performance so surprising is that the Titans had allowed only nine sacks through the first five games combined. This also was their third straight game the Titans had all five of their starters back on the offensive line, though two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan was knocked out of the loss in Buffalo with an injured right foot.Lewan called the 11 sacks frustrating after the game."We'll do the best job we can to go and fix that," Lewan said.Several of the sacks came with Mariota running, trying to extend plays while looking for a receiver. Coach Mike Vrabel said that will be part of the discussions with the quarterback on the fine line of when Mariota can extend a play or the time to throw the ball away to avoid contact."Then also, he has the ability to do some of those things and pick up some of those yards with his feet," Vrabel said.Mariota beat Jacksonville mostly with his legs on Sept. 23, then used his arm throwing for 344 yards to down Philadelphia in overtime on Sept. 30. He also ran for 46 yards against the Eagles.But the Titans quarterback has just two touchdown passes with four interceptions , a similar deficit to last season when he had more interceptions (15) than TD passes (13) while being sacked 27 times in 15 games. Mariota ranks 31st in yards passing (793) in the NFL, and 31 more quarterbacks have more TD passes than he does.Vrabel said the key is everyone doing more, from coaching to the Titans practicing and executing better. Tight end Jonnu Smith said the Titans have complete confidence in Mariota."Man, outsiders looking inside, they can't really tell the true story you know what I mean ...?" Smith said. "Marcus is a great player, and it has nothing to do with him. We're a team and especially on our side of the ball it's an offense and it takes all 11."Notes: LG Quinton Spain (right shoulder), LB Derrick Morgan (shoulder) and LB Will Compton (hamstring) did not practice. S Kenny Vaccaro (right elbow) returned to practice but was limited. LB Wesley Woodyard (shoulder) was limited, but DL Bennie Logan (elbow) practiced fully.Follow Teresa M. Walker at teresamwalkerRookie Report Card: Feeney Should Be A Presence For Years To Come After the 2017 NFL Draft, if you were to ask me, “Hey Michael, which of the two guards selected from last year’s draft do you think willhave the greater impact this coming season?” my answer would have 100 percent been “Uhhhh.....Forrest Lamp, obviously.”Unfortunately for me, the BFTB staff, and the fans , but mostly me, there was not to be a sighting of Lamp on the football field that year. The malicious turf monster snatched the innocent, pure rookie on the very first day of pads in training camp.With Lamp sidelined and my tear ducts ran dry, Feeney became the sixth-man along the offensive line and found himself on the field much sooner than anyone anticipated. During the second-half of the Chargers first victory at the StubHub Center against the Denver Broncos, starting left guard Matt Slauson went down with a torn bicep and was lost for the remainder of the year.“Dan’s been growing like a weed, and he’s ready.”These were the words head coach Anthony Lynn had as he announced Feeney as the starter moving forward. And by golly, the rookie was.Feeney went on to start the final nine games of the regular season, playing an integral part in the Chargers finishing the year on a 9-3 stretch after a horrendous 0-4 start through the first month of play.Coming out of Indiana University as a two-time All-American who played significant time as a true freshman, the team knew they were getting a steal in the third round when #66 was still on the board.One of the biggest reasons to love Feeney is that he encompasses that midwestern, blue-collar work ethic that can help separate the good offensive linemen from the great. There are so many offensive line linemen that get drafted higher than they should based on the fact that draft analysts believe they have a “huge upside.”The fact remains that there are plenty of other traits and characteristics to look for in an offensive line prospect that that have a higher success rate of transitioning to the next level. Many people covet elite length, athleticism, and “basketball feet”. These don’t nearly coincide with NFL success as much as fundamentals, mental processing, and overall consistent effort. Feeney gives you all of the latter , but not so much of the former. This is likely why he wasn’t touted higher as a prospect. This is another play that exemplifies the extra effort Feeney puts into his game. From the snap, Feeney gives a quick jab to this outside shade before releasing to the second level in order to cut off the backside linebacker. Benefiting from #52’s hesitation, Feeney easily crosses his face and keeps the hole wide open for Gordon to scoot through. Even after completing his duty on the play, he finishes his man for good measure.If there is one strong correlation between great offensive linemen, it’s the willingness to go that extra mile in order to demoralize your opponent play after play throughout the entire game. At this point, it looks like Feeney is in possession of this coveted trait.The elevated confidence in Feeney became noticeable as the season winded down. Less mistakes were made, his movements seemed more fluid and lacked any hesitancy. However, he was still a rookie and some of the mistakes he was expected to make did, in fact, happen. Above is a clip from the second meeting between the Bolts and the Chiefs. On this play, the offensive line had a slide-right protection, meaning that Feeney and the rest of the line was responsible for the gaps to their right. Simple enough, yes? There was some breakdowns in Feeney’s fundamentals that led to some interior pressure that is a big no-no when it come to protecting Rivers, a quarterback with almost no mobility to his name.With a 1-technique shaded on the center to Feeney’s side Womens Caleb Sturgis Jersey , he’s got to know that he must get himself fully in front of the defender, matching his midline with the opponent’s. When he shoots his hands, they land outside the defender’s chest which gives the defensive linemen the the win in the battle for leverage. Feeney can no longer fight to get back in front of him and he allows the penetration right up the middle.By the fourth quarter of this game, things got to the point where Feeney was the best offensive linemen on the field for the Chargers as injuries kept piling up. At the point of the above play, the front five were (from left to right): Sam Tevi, Feeney, Spencer Pulley, Kenny Wiggins, and Michael Schofield. *throws up a little*PositivesPlayed a role in the offense with a good deal of responsibility. Was responsible for making sure all checks at the LOS were in before signaling to the center they were ready to snap the ball.Understands leverage when going against larger interior defensive linemen.Knows when to flatten angles when to climbing to the second level against faster defenders.Looks for work when it’s not presented to him off the snap in pass protection.Possesses the “prick/finisher” mentality that goes a long way at the NFL level.Above-average movement skills and athletic-ability allow for increased variances in the run game as Anthony Lynn loves to pull his interior linemen.Always gives the extra effort when plays break down. Will fly around looking for something to throw himself into.Knows how to execute zone steps with rock-solid fundamentals. Doesn’t allow iDL to split double-teams.++ Functional StrengthAt 6-4 and 311 pounds, has the mass needed to help protect and control the depth of the pocketNegativesBecomes jumpy off the snap when he thinks he may get beat with speed.Needs to become more patient with this initial punch in pass protection.Will stop his feet when he thinks he has help with a defender, causing him to only work half a man.Can stand to lunge less. Usually happens when he doubts his abilities.Not the twitchiest in pass protection.Will commit to contact prematurely in hopes of guessing correctly to beat faster defendersAfter playing in almost every game and collecting nine starts, Feeney has shown enough at this point to make Chargers fans believe he could be a mainstay of this offensive line for years to come. With the addition of Mike Pouncey at center and veteran Russell Okung on his other side, expect Feeney to come out in 2018 with a stranglehold on the left guard position. Add back in fellow guard Forrest Lamp to the mix and you’ve got the makings of one of the best offensive lines the Bolts have had since the teams of the mid-2000’s. Custom Denver Broncos Jerseys
  21. It’s time for Vance Joseph to take control of the Denver Broncos One preseason game does not a season make Authentic Phillip Lindsay Jersey , but let’s be real. On the heels of two sub-par seasons, Saturday night’s Minnesota Vikings vs. Denver Broncos game was downright frightening. Last year, I railed against Broncos head coach Vance Joseph for not taking the reigns of the team forcefully enough. Poor play from Trevor Siemian, Isaiah McKenzie, and others was allowed to fester and persist long after identified. It was too little too late and by the time changes were made, the impacts negligible because the season was already a total loss.What was so frustrating on Saturday night was that despite reports of running back Devontae Booker and quarterback Paxton Lynch struggling in training camp, they were given nods to start over the fresh young talent that could benefit and thrive with the reps. There was no good reason to allow Booker to start over Royce Freeman. We already know what it looks like with Paxton under center. Didn’t Broncos fans suffer enough last year? Why is Denver starting 2018 by looking back fondly at 2017’s failures?Why isn’t Vance Joseph using these valuable preseason games to try new things? “If I know they’re bad, the other team obviously knows. Why Vance Joseph doesn’t seem to know is a mystery. We need him to stop being the last one to find these things out.”My father relayed these thoughts to me when we did our usual post-game debrief. I don’t believe that Joseph doesn’t know. He’s got a staff, hours of video, and mountains of other evidence that tells him what all of us already know. Heck, Mile High Report has all the information he needs and it doesn’t cost him a dime. I think it’s more complex. On the latest MHR Radio Podcast, Adam Malnati and Ian St. Clairshared their thoughts on Joseph. They’re thinking: If you had prior concerns about Joseph, he did nothing to alleviate those on Saturday night.It appears that Joseph affords under-performing players second, third, and fourth chances so he can justify (to himself? Elway? The individual players?) whatever it is he’s ultimately going to do with them. There’s a consistent pattern of allowing sub-par play to continue and this justification is the only thing I can reason as to why. While Joseph may be able to point his finger at the failure of these players, ultimately it’s on him. If the Broncos have any hope of success this season, Vance needs to grab the Broncos by the guts going forward. He needs to make bold decisions that show every player in that locker room that lackluster play won’t be tolerated. Bench guys, cut guys, give promising talent the opportunity to flourish. Don’t squander the preseason by playing the same people in positions that landed Denver a 5-11 season. If Vance does the same things, the results at season’s end will be the same as it was last year. He needs to find his voice and light some fires or it’s going to be a long season.HORSE TRACKSBroncos fans are already booing former first-rounder Paxton Lynch, chanting for Chad Kelly - CBSSports.comLynch appears to be in danger of losing his grip on the backup quarterback jobChicago Bears: Looking ahead to preseason game vs. BroncosFollowing the Chicago Bears' second preseason game, we take a look ahead at what to expect in their third exhibition matchup with the Denver Broncos.Broncos Staff Helps Fans During Debut Of Paperless Ticketing System 芦 CBS DenverPaper tickets are now a thing of the past, as the Broncos have transitioned to a mobile ticketing system of entry.Woody Paige: Denver Broncos produced good , bad, and Paxton Lynch | Sports Coverage | gazette.comDENVER 鈥?For three quarters Saturday night the Broncos looked inexcusably abysmal — as they were last season — against the Vikings in a throwaway exhibition at The Horse WithMcKenzie rebounds with return touchdown but knows his battle to make the roster remainsIsaiah McKenzie's electrifying 78-yard touchdown on a punt return offered perhaps a little redemption after a rough 2017 season, but he knows he's not out of the woods yet.Broncos claim tackle Austin Fleer off waiversThe Broncos waived an offensive lineman in a corresponding move.Three Broncos quarterbacks look to build on foundation after varying degrees of successCase Keenum, Paxton Lynch and Chad Kelly achieved different levels of success on Saturday against the Vikings, but all three have room to improve.Eagles sign former second-round pick Christian Hackenberg, who's yet to play in NFL game - CBSSports.comYet another team is taking a chance on Hackenberg, who's never played in a regular-season gameRedskins and Jets brawl during joint practice, fans reportedly get in a fight of their own - CBSSports.comIt was a rowdy day at the Jets-Redskins' joint practice on SundayJaguars reportedly suspend Jalen Ramsey, Dante Fowler one week for violating team rules - CBSSports.comRamsey attacked media on Twitter while Fowler was involved in practice altercations with a teammateMiami Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill throws rookie out of huddle for missed assignmentDolphins QB Ryan Tannehill yelled at rookie Kalen Ballage and kicked him out of the huddle after the running back missed a blocking assignment that resulted in a clean sack by Charles Harris.NFL must rewrite the new helmet rule, now – ProFootballTalkThe new helmet rules continue to be applied as written. Which will continue to make football something other than football. In Saturday night's game between the Chargers and Cardinals, a pair of fouls were called on Arizona players. One, a penalty called on safety A.J.Browns are sticking with the plan at quarterback – ProFootballTalkRookie Baker Mayfield had an impressive debut for the Browns on Thursday night, but it wasn't impressive enough to get the Browns to change their plans at quarterback. "We're sticking with our plan," quarterbacks coach Ken Zampese said Sunday, via Mary Kay Cabot of punish Antonio Callaway by making him play – ProFootballTalkMost teams punish football players by not letting them play football. In Cleveland, playing football apparently is punishment enough. Browns coach Hue Jackson explained to reporters on Sunday that rookie receiver Antonio Callaway played most of the preseason opener as discipline for his recent ar...AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman dinged in Sunday’s practice – ProFootballTalkThe Bills had two of their three quarterbacks get medical attention during Sunday's practice. AJ McCarron was the first to need the training staff. They checked out his right leg and a team spokesman said that someone had stepped on it during the session.Cardinals add linebacker Gerald Hodges – ProFootballTalkAs the Cardinals try to stay relevant in the NFC West, they've been adding plenty of veteran defenders. The latest: Linebacker Gerald Hodges. Per a league source, Hodges signed a one-year deal.Niners back Jerick McKinnon suffers minor injury - NFL.comJerrick McKinnon went down, but he's not out. The San Francisco 49ers' free-agent acquisition underwent an MRI on Sunday after suffering an apparent knee injury in practice, but the injury is not major.McVay: Rams 'increased dialogue' with Aaron Donald - NFL.comRams head coach Sean McVay told reporters Saturday that there's been 'increased dialogue' with Aaron Donald. McVay said the Rams feel 'positive' about the direction of the contract talks.Kirk Cousins sharp as advertised in brief Vikings debut - NFL.comKirk Cousins' time on Saturday night was short, and boy, was it sweet. The Vikings quarterback was a perfect 4-for-4 for 42 yards and one touchdown in his lone drive against the Broncos.Colts jettison Shamarko Thomas days after ejection - NFL.comShamarko Thomas became the first player ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit under the NFL's new rule. On Saturday , his team ejected him permanently. The Colts filled his roster spot with Ryan Delaire. Don’t worry Broncos Country, only 11 more games to go until we hit the offseason and can talk about less depressing things than our coaching staff being inept and players sucking. We’ll once again be talking about the NEW head coach and coaching staff he brings in (please be Mike Tomlin, Pete Carroll, or Mike Shanahan but without GM duties). We’ll be talking about what lineman we will take with our high first round pick, and we’ll be renewed with hope for the 2019 season. 11 weeks guys, that’s all we have to endure. We’re almost there.Last Week: 9-6Overall: 41-35-2Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) at New York Giants (1-4) 6:20pm FOX/NFLNThese Eagles are up and down like a yo-yo. I’m not sure if they simply aren’t hungry for winning anymore, or what in the world is going on. Thankfully playing the Giants is pretty much a recipe for success. Prediction: Eagles 31, Giants 19Indianapolis Colts (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3) 11:00am CBSWill the Colts be any healthier this week? Will the Jets play like they did last week? Or will we see a crap team vs crap team? I’m pretty sure it’s the latter. Prediction: Colts 20, Jets 17Pittsburgh Steelers (2-2-1) at Cincinnati Bengals (4-1) 11:00am CBSWhich fan base do I want to piss off most? The Steelers or the Bengals? Pretty sure I’ve already pissed off the Cincy crowd with my power rankings, so might as well even things out. Prediction: Steelers 23, Bengals 24Los Angeles Chargers (3-2) at Cleveland Browns (2-2-1) 11:00am CBSLets go Baker! Do us all a solid and beat the Chargers. Prediction: Chargers 23, Browns 24Buffalo Bills (2-3) at Houston Texans (2-3) 11:00am CBSI’m not even sure what to say about this game, but the Texans have won 2 in a row, and they’re at home, so I’m going with the hot hand. Prediction: Bills 20, Texans 27Chicago Bears (3-1) at Miami Dolphins (3-2) 11:00am FOXAs I’ve said week over week, the Dolphins just don’t impress me and I think they fell backwards into a 3-0 record. Add to that that the Bears are fresh and ready to attack. Prediction: Bears 27, Dolphins 17Arizona Cardinals (1-4) at Minnesota Vikings (2-2-1) 11:00am FOXI really want the Cardinals to win, but sadly, that isn’t happening this week. Don’t worry Cardinals fans, it’ll happen next week. Prediction: Cardinals 13, Vikings 27Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-2) at Atlanta Falcons (1-4) 11:00am FOXStay safe Tampa. That’s all. Predictions: Buccaneers 17, Falcons 24Seattle Seahawks (2-3) at Oakland Raiders (1-4) 11:00am FOXThe Seahawks took the Rams to the brink White Bradley Chubb Jersey , so they should have a relative cakewalk against this joke of a team. Welcome to .500 Seahawks. Prediction: Seahawks 27, Raiders 24Carolina Panthers (3-1) at Washington Redskins (2-2) 11:00am FOXThe Panthers are rounding into form, and Alex Smith is rounding into Alex Smith. At least no records should be shattered against the Redskins this week. Prediction: Panthers 27, Redskins 17Los Angeles Rams (6-0) at Denver Broncos (2-4) 2:05pm FOXLook no further than anything I’ve said for the last few freaking weeks. Plus the fact I already updated their records in here should paint an accurate picture. If “Any Given Sunday” is a certain percentage of a chance to win, I still give the Broncos a 0% chance, because on any given Sunday they’re likely to lose to the damn bye week. Prediction: Rams 51 unless they have pity on us, Broncos 13 unless $wag plays at halftime of a blowoutJacksonville Jaguars (3-2) at Dallas Cowboys (2-3) 2:25pm CBSLook for the Jags to want to get last week’s nasty ass taste out of their mouth, and the Cowboys are the unlucky team to feel their wrath. Prediction: Jags 24, Cowboys 9Baltimore Ravens (3-2) at Tennessee Titans (3-2) 2:25pm CBSHow do I pick the Ravens when they didn’t even score double digits last week? How? Oh yeah, cause the Titans don’t inspire me at all. Prediction: Ravens 24, Titans 23Kansas City Chiefs (5-0) at New England Patriots (3-2) 6:20pm NBC SNFI honestly have no idea how to handicap this game. I can’t wait to watch it though. On the one hand, FYTB, on the other hand, FYKC (FY Kansas City for those with too much BBQ on the brain to understand what that acronym means). This is in Foxboro, so I want to swing the Patriots way, but this is also KC who seems to have their number. I really don’t know. Can I call it a tie? Prediction: Chiefs 42, Patriots 43San Francisco 49ers (1-4) at Green Bay Packers (2-2-1) 6:15pm ESPN MNFI’m not sure how the Packers could lose this game. Even if Rodgers doesn’t play, the Packers will win this game. Prediction: Niners 17, Packers 31Bye Week: New Orleans Saints , Detroit Lions
  22. The injury report for the Seattle Seahawks’ pivotal Week 5 showdown with the Los Angeles Rams isn’t littered with names Kam Chancellor Jersey , but for an injury-riddled defense, it almost seems like a cruel joke that the team’s best pass-rusher is questionable not because of injury, but food poisoning. Seriously.Frank Clark is expected to play according to head coach Pete Carroll. He has missed the last two practices due to food poisoning, although he didn’t go into detail on what Clark ate that rendered him ill. Clark says he’s playing, though!The other name listed as “questionable” is left guard Ethan Pocic, who has been battling an ankle injury. Even if he is available on Sunday, J.R. Sweezy has taken his spot at left guard, so Pocic would just be a reserve.Two men who are confirmed out are linebacker K.J. Wright and defensive lineman Rasheem Green. Wright is still dealing with a knee problem, while Green has one of those “legit” ankle injuries that one can only assume means he’ll be out for a bit longer.With Wright out and Mychal Kendricks suspended, expect Austin Calitro to get the start alongside fellow linebackers Barkevious Mingo and Bobby Wagner.Everyone else who’s on the active roster should be good to go Authentic K.J. Wright Jersey , although we know a few will be healthy scratches come gameday.Pete Carroll provides injury updates ahead of Seahawks-Vikings Speaking to the media for the final time before the Seattle Seahawks face the Minnesota Vikings in the third week of the preseason, Pete Carroll provided updates on various players across the roster.Carroll confirmed what is generally assumed about the third preseason game: The starters will play into the third quarter in what is their biggest run out of August. A handful of other notes from Carroll’s presser on Thursday are of interest:After stating last week, ahead of Seahawks-Chargers, that they “Were going to give it another week” with Amara Darboh’s return from injury, Carroll essentially said the same on Thursday. Darboh is expected back for next week’s game against the Oakland Raiders, in what would be his first action of the preseason. Carroll confirmed Adam Schefter’s reported timeline for J.D. McKissic, who is set to miss 4-6 weeks with a Jones’ fracture in his foot. With McKissic out, David Moore is expected to get some action as a returner against Minnesota.Bradley McDougald will miss Friday’s game with a pectoral injury he picked up this week. Both Maurice Alexander and Delano Hill should benefit from McDougald’s absence. Elsewhere in the secondary, Byron Maxwell remains sidelined, giving Dontae Johnson a second opportunity to get reps with the first team as he makes a late roster push. J.R. Sweezy will also be out for Seattle’s matchup against the Vikings Youth Bobby Wagner Jersey , however when he returns, it will be in a new spot. Sweezy moved to left guard this week in his return to practice, competing with Ethan Pocic for the starting spot. D.J. Fluker, well established as the starter on the right, will play on Friday after suffering a finger injury in Los Angeles. Finally, George Fant will play at right tackle against Minnesota. Offensive line coach Mike Solari said earlier in August the plan was to move him over eventually, and this week Fant began getting reps on the right. The next time Carroll is set to speak to the media is Friday night, following the team’s game against the Vikings.
  23. When the Jets signed cornerback Trumaine Johnson to a five-year Jamal Adams Jersey , $72 million contract this offseason, the thought was he should come in and immediately improve the Jets’ defense. In a sense, he did, as he intercepted a pass in Week One. But since then, the results have not been pretty.Johnson has been profoundly disappointing to people inside the organization, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who quotes one source as saying, 鈥淭hought he鈥檇 be better.鈥滻n fact, since that solid performance in Week One, the Jets’ defense has actually played better during the five games Johnson missed when he was injured. Many league observers believe Darryl Roberts, the minimum-salary backup who was starting while Johnson was hurt , has actually played better than Johnson this season. That’s despite the fact that Johnson will pocket $26 million in salary and bonuses in his first year with the Jets, while Roberts makes less than $1 million.Johnson returned to the lineup on Sunday, moving Roberts to the bench, and the Jets promptly turned in their worst defensive performance of the season.The 28-year-old Johnson looks like he’s not as good a fit in coach Todd Bowles’ defense as he was with what the Rams were asking him to do. That’s always a risk with a free-agent signing, that a player earns a big contract because he plays well in one situation, but doesn’t play well in the next situation.Bowles is likely to be fired after this season, which means it’s going to be some other coach trying to get the most out of Johnson next year. Whoever that coach is, they’d better get the most out of Johnson. He’s set to cost $12 million against the Jets’ salary cap in 2019 and $15 million in 2020, and the way his contract is structured makes it virtually impossible for the Jets to move on from him until then. He still has time to get things turned around, but through his first half season with the Jets, he’s looking like an expensive mistake. The New York Jets have filled two open spots on the practice squad by signing wide receiver J.J. Jones and center Jon Toth.J.J. Jones is a 25 year old (turns 26 in December) 5’ 10” Color Rush Brandon Copeland Jersey , 175 pound wide receiver. He went undrafted in the 2018 NFL draft and was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers as an undrafted free agent. In three games with the Chargers Jones managed the unlikely feat of having zero receptions, one rushing attempt, and two fumbles. He returned five punts for 24 yards and a 4.8 yard average, as well as three kicks for 69 yards and a 23 yard average.It’s a bit difficult to understand what NFL teams see in Jones. He was never a dominant or even a mildly productive receiver at West Georgia. His best year he had 24 receptions for 278 yards. He had some success as a returner, but was by no means dominant. Jones has some straight line speed and some lateral quickness, so perhaps he can make something of himself as a returner and backup slot receiver. You can check out his college highlights, such as they are, in this Youtube video:Jon Toth is a 24 year old, 6’ 5”, 307 pound center out of the University of Kentucky. Toth is a powerful blocker but a middling athlete with heavy feet and little lateral quickness who struggles in space. He went undrafted in the 2017 NFL draft and was signed by the Philadelphia Eagles to the practice squad in December 2017. Toth spent the 2018 preseason with the Eagles before being cut on final cutdown day. The Eagles re-signed Toth to their 2018 practice squad before releasing him in late September.
  24. NFL Picks: Week 2 of the 2018 NFL Regular Season Last week Womens Customized Los Angeles Chargers Jerseys , everyone managed to pick at least half of the games correctly, but only two members of the staff cracked double digits. I managed to get 10 out of 16 right, but it was Lou Gorini, the only man on staff to pick against the Chargers, who came out on top with 11.This week, nobody will be making up ground based on the Chargers-Bills contest because this time we are all in agreement. The Los Angeles Chargers will get their first win of the season against the Josh Allen-led Bills. There are two other games in which we all felt the same. The Redskins will defeat the Colts and the Rams will beat the Cardinals. All three of those are pretty safe picks, but it will be interesting to watch as we all had the Saints winning against Tampa Bay last week.MatchupColeIsaacStanleyRichardGrantDanielMichaelGarrettRubenLouJamie.align-l { text-align: left; }.align-c { text-align: center; }.align-r { text-align: right; } { width: 100%; border-collapse: separate; border-spacing: 0px;} td, th { vertical-align: top; }table.bftb-table { width: 100%; border-collapse: separate; border-spacing: 0px; }table.bftb-table td, table.bftb-table th, table.bftb-table p { font-size: 13px; padding: 4px; font-family: "Gotham Narrow SSm A","Gotham Narrow SSm B",Arial,sans-serif; }table.bftb-table thead th { background-color: #3f77b0; font-weight: bold; color: white; text-align: center; }table.bftb-table tbody tr:nth-child(odd) td, table.bftb-table tbody tr:nth-child(odd) th { background: #f4f4f4; }table.bftb-table tbody tr td:first-child { text-align: left; }table.bftb-table tbody th { font-weight: bold; text-align: left; }table.bftb-table td { text-align: center; }table.bftb-table tfoot td, table.bftb-table tfoot th { border-top: 2px double #ccc; }.muted { font-weight: normal; color: #777; } The Los Angeles Chargers aren't ready to say farewell to Antonio Gates after all.Four months after the Chargers bade a public goodbye to the leading receiver in franchise history, Gates returned to the team on Sunday, one week before the start of his 16th season. The 38-year-old franchise stalwart is getting a one-year deal and another shot at his first trip to a Super Bowl.The Chargers intended to part ways with Gates last spring after his role declined behind starting tight end Hunter Henry in 2017. Their plans changed when Henry tore a knee ligament during offseason workouts in May Authentic Derwin James Jersey , likely sidelining him for the upcoming season.Although they've been discussing a reunion for many weeks, Gates and the Chargers waited until the day before the first week of game preparation for the regular season to formalize his return to his only NFL team. Gates' 114 career touchdown catches are sixth in NFL history and the most among active players."I'm grateful that he wants to come back and play with us," Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said. "But I'm also grateful he's coming back for all the right reasons. He's not coming back to put up more statistics. He's not coming back to prove anything to anybody, because he doesn't have to do that. He's coming back because he loves his teammates, and I think he sees something special in this football team that he wants to be a part of, and that's exciting."The Chargers are a popular pick to be a playoff contender after winning nine of their final 12 games last season. Gates and the Chargers have made the postseason just once since 2009.Telesco wouldn't say whether he expects Gates to play when the Chargers open the regular season at home against the Chiefs on Sept. 9."I guess we'll see," Telesco said. "I certainly wouldn't want to tell Kansas City."Once an undrafted free agent who played only basketball at Kent State, Gates is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and the Chargers' career leader in receptions (927), yards receiving (11,508) and touchdown catches. He set the NFL record for touchdown receptions by a tight end last September, surpassing Tony Gonzalez with his 112th TD catch.But Gates' 30 receptions last season were his fewest since his rookie year in 2003, and his 316 yards receiving were a career low as Henry took the majority of the big snaps. Gates started only four games, but he stepped up capably into a larger role when Henry was out with a bruised kidney late last season.The Chargers spent the past four months with a clear need for a pass-catching tight end. Newcomer Virgil Green is a veteran blocking tight end with pass-catching ability, but the only other tight end on Los Angeles' 53-man roster Sunday was undrafted second-year pro Sean Culkin, who has never caught a pass in an NFL game."I guess we're very lucky to have a player like Hunter get hurt and have a player like Antonio available and willing," Telesco said. "He knows the offense. He knows the quarterback. He knows our head coach. He knows this organization very well, and he finished the year on a strong note last year."Gates has a profound connection with Philip Rivers , who joined the Chargers in 2004 and has been their starting quarterback in every game since 2006. Rivers has thrown 87 touchdown passes to Gates, and they trail only Indianapolis' Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison as the most prolific TD duo in NFL history.Rivers publicly advocated for Gates' return in recent months, and Gates will be another solid target in the Chargers' potent offense, which led the NFL with 276.9 yards passing per game last season. With Gates back in powder blue, Rivers' top eight receivers from last season are still with the Bolts.The Chargers made several additional moves Sunday, a day after setting their roster and choosing Caleb Sturgis as their new kicker.Los Angeles released linebacker Hayes Pullard, who played extensively last year, and quarterback Cardale Jones. Telesco said the Bolts hope to re-sign Jones to the practice squad as their third quarterback behind Rivers and Geno Smith.Los Angeles claimed linebacker Emmanuel Ellerbee off waivers from Atlanta and nose tackle T.Y. McGill off waivers from Kansas City. Telesco believes Ellerbee can fit in well with the Chargers after learning the Falcons' defense of coach Dan Quinn, whose scheme is derived from the system run by Chargers defensive coordinator Gus Bradley when they both coached on Pete Carroll's staff in Seattle.Telesco also lamented the season-ending ankle injury of receiver Artavis Scott, who spent last season as a rookie on the Chargers' practice squad after winning a national title at Clemson alongside receiver Mike Williams, the Chargers' first-round pick last year."He had earned a spot on this team and had done a great job," Telesco said. "Last year at this time, we thought he could play, but this time, we know he can play." Custom Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys
  25. It’s no secret the Broncos run defense has struggled the last few weeks. Naturally Authentic Von Miller Jersey , when you give up two back-to-back 200 yard rushers, something is going terribly wrong. I have discussed some of the things that have gone wrong in my game recap from week 6, and we will get more in-depth over the next week on what was going on, but Thursday night’s game was a step in the right direction. The Broncos held David Johnson, a very talented and dynamic back, to 39 yards on 14 carries, and held the Cardinals backfield as a whole to 2.5 YPC on 19 carries. Now, the Cardinals don’t exactly have an incredible rushing attack, but neither did the Jets. Isaiah Crowell entered his contest with Denver with a couple of 30 yard, 3 YPC games under his belt. So this was definitely a positive for the Denver defense.So what was it that Denver did?First, let’s look at where Denver was getting beat on the ground. As I pointed out in my recap of the Jets game, and saw after watching the Rams film, the biggest problem Denver had over the last few weeks in run defense was with adjusting their run fits to shifts and motions, poor tackling, and their nickel defense being exploited.Well, they shored up their tackling, which, as I have said, is a completely fixable problem and isn’t typical of this Denver defense who led the league in YPC given up on the ground last year. The bigger issue against the Jets and Rams was Denver’s nickel defense being exploited. The biggest plays of the Jets game happened against nickel personnel Authentic Matt Paradis Jersey , and nearly every Rams play did, as they stay in 11 personnel (3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB) for 95% of their plays.Those two teams would spread out with 11 personnel, which forced Denver to counter with 3 corners, putting them in nickel and taking away a defensive lineman from their front. This, by design, gives the offense light boxes to run against and makes stopping the run that much harder for the defense.Vance Joseph mentioned this when asked about the run defense last week leading up to Thursday’s game: So, we recognize this is a problem, but what can be done about it? There are a couple of things that Denver has done in the past that have worked well. They both involve playing your base defensive front 7 even against 11 personnel. In 2015, Wade Phillips orchestrated the destruction of the Packers in a game that saw them gain 140 total yards by running a base front against Green Bay’s 11 personnel, but swapping Bradley Roby out for one of the safeties. So you are still able to matchup man to man with the WRs, but have a better front to stop the run.The other option is one that Joe Woods used last year, and what Denver used on Thursday. For the entire game, Denver stayed in their base defense on non-3rd and longs against any 11 personnel look the Cardinals showed.How they covered it, was by shifting Justin Simmons into the slot over Larry Fitzgerald. Woods used this last year against Miami as well, and Simmons fared pretty well against Jarvis Landry in the slot most of the game.Here’s the first play from 11 personnel of the game. Simmons starts out in a two-high look, then slowly walks down into the slot, and Denver switches to a cover-1 look.This is a great move by Joe Woods , in my opinion, and something I had been calling for in the MHR chat room after the Rams game. Tim mentioned this in a piece last week as one of the options for helping the run defense.This allowed Denver to play with favorable fronts against the run, while also defending the pass pretty well. Simmons allowed only 2 catches for 18 yards to Fitzgerald when matched up against him.Here’s what happens as a result. You get plays like this.Here’s another one.And Denver didn’t just run cover-1 out of this look and have Simmons man to man on the slot. At times, they would drop into a cover-4 shell, so it wouldn’t get predictable for Arizona.Now, will this work against every team? I don’t think so. However, I think it is something Denver should utilize more, as Simmons has shown good cover skills from the slot, and it has proven to be an effective strategy.We’ll take a deeper dive later this week into the run defense, so consider this part 1, but it is nice to see adjustments being made to fix glaring weaknesses, and those adjustments working.Another thing I would love to see is swapping out Brandon Marshall with Su’a Cravens once he is healthy. This would give a little bit more of a dynamic cover element, while still maintaining the extra defensive lineman for the run. Hopefully there’s more to come on this package over the next few games. After days of pressers in which Denver Broncos Head Coach Vance Joseph promised changes would be made to stop the losing skid, today’s practice revealed at least one.Bench the starting QB? Overhaul the plays used from the playbook? Give Royce Freeman double the touches?Nope.Give Max Garcia a chance to compete with Connor McGovern for the starting right guard position - as reported by 9News’ Mike Klis.That would be the same Connor McGovern who is, according to Pro Football Focus, the third-highest ranked guard through the first five games this season (ironically, the first two play for the L.A. Rams).It’s true McGovern did not have a great game against the Jets, but it would be pretty tough to argue he was the main problem with the offense that day.Because obviously THAT’s what has been wrong with this team the last three games.On Sunday Garcia could be responsible for blocking Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald - two of the best interior defensive linemen in the NFL.So that’s good news.