Packers vs. Washington Q&A: Personnel moves have transformed Washington’s offense On Sunday Youth Aaron Rodgers Jersey , the Green Bay Packers make their first road trip of the regular season to take on Washington. Ken Meringolo of Hogs Haven was kind enough to answer some of our questions about Washington and provide insight into the team’s strengths and weaknesses.APC: Washington made one of the biggest personnel decisions of the 2018 offseason, acquiring veteran quarterback Alex Smith from the Chiefs and letting Kirk Cousins depart in free agency. While only two weeks of the regular season have passed, what do you see as the biggest positive change and most significant issue with that swap?APC: The plan for Washington’s offensive backfield changed multiple times this offseason, with second-round pick Derrius Guice tearing his ACL and Adrian Peterson joining the rotation. How has the running game looked thus far Color Rush Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey , and how do you expect Washington will divide the workload against the Packers?APC: Washington has gotten off to a strong start defensively, coming in fourth against the pass by DVOA and eighth overall. Are those rankings merely a reflection of the competition Washington has played (Cardinals and Colts), or is the defense going to carry the team this season?APC: If you were game planning against Washington this week, how would you attack the team on offense? On defense?APC: Finally Youth Kevin King Jersey , it’s prediction time. Which team wins on Sunday and why?We’d like to thank Ken and Hogs Haven for answering our questions. Be sure to check out our Q&A session over there, as well as their fantastic coverage of all things Washington. As always, keep your internet machines tuned to Acme Packing Company this Sunday for our comprehensive game-day coverage of Packers vs. Washington.Packers take 24-23 lead on magnificent 75-yard Randall Cobb touchdown It’s third and ten from the Green Bay Packers’ 25-yard line. Aaron Rodgers threw the ball. Randall Cobb caught it eleven yards down the field. He shook off one defender and took the football another 64 yards to the end zone, scoring a 75-yard touchdown and giving the Packers their first touchdown of Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.It was one of the most improbable plays you’ll see. Just seconds earlier http://www.authenticsgreenbaypackers.com/cheap-bryan-bulaga-jersey , Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller dropped a sure interception after Davante Adams was knocked down by another Chicago defensive back. Giving Rodgers another chance was a poor plan.This catch-and-run by Cobb gave him nine catches for 142 yards on the day, and it was the longest receiving touchdown of his career. It also pushed Aaron Rodgers to 20-for-29 on the day, with 286 yards and three touchdowns.Here’s a look at the play from NFL.com:The Bears have just over two minutes to go to try to take the lead back.
Chris Ballard appears to have struck gold with his 2018 draft class. First rounder Quenton Nelson has improved every game and is a big part of why Andrew Luck has had the best protection of his career this season. Speaking of that protection Authentic Braden Smith Jersey , second rounder Braden Smith has been more than solid at RT. Kemoko Turay playing at defensive end has also stood out rushing the passer on defense. Rookie running backs Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins have played big roles in the offense this season. Among the stars that Ballard has seemingly landed, none of them have had the impact of second round pick Darius Leonard.Considered by many as one of the biggest reaches in the entire draft, Leonard has proved since Day 1 that he was the right selection for the Colts in the second round. On the season, Leonard leads the entire NFL in tackles— 79 tackles— despite missing a game due to an injury. Against the Bills, Leonard lit up the scoreboard with 17 tackles— 12 solo— and a fumble recovery.Now, I typically style these film rooms with positives and negatives from the player’s past performance. There was so little negative to write about, though, that I decided to make it a film room on Leonard’s positives and where I’ve seen the most improvement from him this season. So let’s jump into this weeks film room and see why Leonard is playing like one of the best young linebackers in football this year.PositivesTacklingLeonard has been a tackling machine this year. The Tampa 2 scheme has definitely played a role in his high tackle numbers but ultimately, Leonard is making the plays. He is a sure tackler and is excellent at coming downhill and wrapping up ball carriers, against the run and the pass. He has a natural feel for defending the run which allows for him to be in the right position most of the time. Our first clip shows exactly what we’ve seen from Leonard all season. The Colts’ cover 2 scheme is designed to drop the linebackers in zone coverage over the middle to prevent intermediate, middle of the field throws. In theory, this is optimal as it keeps all underneath throws right in front of the linebackers. Leonard makes this scheme look ingenious as he routinely comes downhill to make tackles. He limits so many potential big plays to small gains due to his speed and tackling ability. Here, Leonard bursts out of his zone to make a tackle on an underneath throw. Most importantly, this is an open field tackle. It is so important for linebackers to make these one-on-one tackles in space, as a missed tackle can result in a big play. Leonard rarely makes those mistakes. Once he gets a player in his sights, he typically makes the tackle. Most rookies fail to break down properly or aim their bodies at the ball carrier incorrectly. Darius Leonard does not have that problem.Run DefenseLeonard has excelled as a run defender. The Colts have a top 5 rush defense in all of football in regards of yards per rush. Leonard is aggressive and shoots gaps well. When he is able to get a hand on the ball carrier Youth Malik Hooker Jersey , he consistently has enough strength to drag the runner down. His tackling ability shows out in this area as well. In this first clip, Leonard shoots the gap to the left side of the screen. The run is to the right so Leonard is forced to fight off his block and work back to the other side of the formation. Leonard spins off of his blocker then quickly gets back up field and makes the tackle. The ability to work off of his block and locate the ball carrier is what makes Leonard so good in run defense. He always has his head on a swivel and is constantly locating and pursuing the ball carrier. Great play to work back to the ball after initially being out of the play. This next clip starts with the Bills running an inside trap play where the tight end is tasked with blocking Leonard. Leonard diagnoses the play and shoots the A gap. He blows up the lead block from the tight end and is able to get a hand on the runner and bring him down. This play is just great because it is designed to take Leonard out of the play. Where he wins is how he diagnoses it quickly and realizes he needs to initiate the contact on the lead blocker. Great play to blow up the block and still bring down the runner.EffortOne major part of Leonard’s game that has been severely overlooked this season is his pure effort on every single play. You don’t lead the NFL in tackles by being the most skilled or being in the best scheme. Those factors obviously play a large role but having the ability to make tackles all over the field takes pure effort. Leonard showcases his excellent effort and pure heart on every single play.Look at how much ground Leonard covers here on his fumble recovery. He could have easily given up chase once he saw Mike Mitchell make the tackle, but he continues the pursuit and is able to be in prime position to recover the fumble. Sure there is athleticism involved with covering this much ground, but the effort to continually pursue the play is commendable.Again look at the effort here by Leonard to make a play almost thirty yards down the field. He is well out of the play once this ball is thrown down the field. Yet, he never breaks sprint and is able to get all the way down the field for the tackle. Plays like this just contribute to why he leads the NFL in tackles at this point. Where he has improvedPass defenseLeonard struggled early in the season in pass coverage. By struggled, I mean struggled compared to how he is playing most of the time. The main issue I had early in the year was that he wasn’t feeling out plays or really anticipating much in pass defense. A lot of what he was doing was just sitting back in his zone and making tackles rather than anticipating what the quarterback was doing and breaking up passes. Although I still see struggles here, I think he has improved greatly. He is disrupting pass routes more regularly now and anticipating much better. He is trusting his instincts and film study much more as the season progresses. This first clip showcases the Colts in a rare coverage; man defense. Leonard is matched up with the running back. Even before the ball is snapped, Leonard is able to diagnose what his match up is going to do. Rather than just running to the running back to cover him, Leonard runs to a spot that he believes the running back’s route will take him to. Even though the quarterback never looks Leonard’s way here, he is in perfect position from trusting his instincts in coverage.This next rep shows Leonard disrupting a play from zone coverage. The Bills have a double slant concept called and Leonard notices it right away.Rather than just sitting in his zone and waiting for the ball though, Leonard jams the inside slant. This disruption of the route contributes to the quarterback holding the ball a second longer and allows for the pressure to make a play. Also, if the ball would not have been batted at the line, Kenny Moore could have been able to peel off the inside guy and make a play on the outside due to Leonard’s heads up play. Patience in run defenseOne major improvement that Leonard has made from the preseason to now is his patience in run defense. Rather than over-committing on plays, Leonard is now sifting through traffic and keeping his head up. He is doing much more reading of plays rather than just shooting gaps and hoping he is running into the ball carrier. This has resulted in even more tackles than when he started the season. Here is the best example I was able to find from the last game. Leonard reads the play and strafes down the line. Rather than ducking under the block or shooting up field to force the play inside, Leonard calmly resets then stacks and sheds the lineman to make the tackle. He always keeps his eyes on the ball carrier while he is shedding the blocker. This maturity shows development in this area. Great sign of improvement. AnalysisSo, what did we learn about Darius Leonard? Kind of what we already knew http://www.coltsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-rigoberto-sanchez-jersey , that he is playing really well. He is excelling in a scheme tailored to his strengths and is taking full advantage of the early playing time he is getting.He excels as a tackler in open space and is great at plugging up holes in run defense. His natural athleticism combined with great effort only add to his historic tackle totals this far into the season. He is continually improving in pass defense as he is learning to trust his instincts more each and every game. Overall Leonard is perhaps the brightest part about a 2-5 football team. He has all the ability in the world to be a top linebacker in this league and at the moment he certainly is playing like it. It has gotten to the point where we are shocked if he doesn’t get 15 tackles a game. Leonard will continue to improve and looks to be a staple of the Colts’ defense for many many years.Khalil Mack reportedly headed to Chicago Bears for two first rounders and more When Khalil Mack’s name started to float around as a potential trade piece for the Oakland (Las Vegas) Raiders, the fan base for every NFL team started to clamor. It has been widely reported and observed that marquee pass rushers, in their prime, rarely make it to free agency and are rarely available for trade. Pass rushers are the most coveted players on an NFL team behind quarterback and they can make a huge difference in the outcome of games, and in changing the personality of a defense.I suppose all players have their price though, as Adam Schefter and Ian Rapoport reported this morning.When the story first broke that Jon Gruden was willing to float Mack for potential trade partners, Colts fan were quick to poke fun at him. He is certainly not a traditional strategist, has a mixed track record as a talent evaluator, and has some throwback approaches to coaching his new team. Whether any of that will work out is unknown but to this point, fans of every other team are happy their franchise isn’t on the hook for $100 million in contract guarantees spanning 10 years.NFL team owners and general managers tend to cling onto their star players. Not only are these players ones who can help win football games, which help put butts in seats, but they also sell merchandise and bring in sponsors. A name like Khalil Mack is one you can market to your fans. It is one that will bring dollars in for a team owner that the other players on his roster, collectively, will not. Maybe that’s why Raiders owner Mark Davis isn’t too pleased by this development.While the total compensation has yet to be disclosed, two first round draft picks is certainly valuable to a franchise. Losing those picks means forfeiting the chance to get two of the top players in the the next two drafts. It means potentially sacrificing over the next 2-4 yearsas a team feels the bulk of the impact of losing out on well above average starters at two different positions.It is entirely fair and appropriate to acknowledge that draft picks are unknown quantities and first round misses are entirely possible but it is also fair to consider an example of what you might be giving up. Mack is 27 years old and is absolutely in the prime of his career. Barring injury, he should produce at a high level for at least the next 3-4 years. At his projected contract level Matthias Farley Jersey , that will likely cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $60-$80 million at somewhere close to $20 million per year.Over the last two seasons, the Colts have drafted Malik Hooker and Quenton Nelson. Both are projected as impact players at their respective positions. Nelson is projected to play at a Pro Bowl level as early as his rookie year. Hooker is projected to be a difference-maker on the back-end and is known for his ability to make plays on the ball and create turnovers. He had three interceptions and 4 passes defensed in seven games as a rookie — he was an early front runner for defensive rookie of the year.Both Hooker and Nelson are in the growing and improving stages of their careers. They are more likely to improve throughout their rookie contracts as they gain experience and become more comfortable playing in a new system and with their new teammates.Together, Hooker and Nelson will cost just over $36 million over the next four years. The current rate for a marquee player at safety is an average of more than $8 million per year, with the very best safeties making $10 million per year or more. The top young players at guard are currently pulling in north of $12 million per year on average. If both players compete at a high level relative to others at their position, they will represent $60-80 million in value for an NFL team at a under half the price.Would you trade Nelson and Hooker, and whatever else the Bears have had to throw in, to receive Khalil Mack? What else could you get right now for a player who is valued at $40 million over the next four years — the amount you save with Nelson and Hooker on their rookie contracts? According to Spotrac, the following players could also be added during the next four years at or below that projected amount (based upon 2018 contracts signed).LB - Shaq Mason ($40 million)DT - Star Lotulelei ($38.1 million)DT - Dontari Poe ($28 million over three years)CB - Aaron Colvin ($34 million)LB - Anthony Hitchens ($33.7 million)TE - Trey Burton ($32 million)DT - Sheldon Richardson ($8 million for one year)LB - Bernardrick McKinney ($31.2 million)RB - Jerick McKinnon ($30 million)WR - Paul Richardson ($30 million)LB - Eric Kendricks ($28 million)Would you trade Nelson, Hooker, and one of these players for Mack?I wouldn’t feel comfortable resting the next four years on the health of one body versus three or more others for the same price. While I’m confident Mack will produce at a very high level and will generate a pass rush unlike anyone else on the Colts roster, I’m not sure that his impact outweighs the impact of Nelson on the offensive line, Hooker on the secondary, and potentially Dontari Poe on the defensive line or Anthony Hitches at linebacker or Jerick McKinnon at running back in this scheme.I would feel more comfortable making this kind of trade if I felt like my franchise was a player away from legitimately challenging for a Super Bowl. I’m not sure the Bears fit in that mold and I’m confident the Colts do not. It comes as no surprise to me that Ballard wouldn’t give such a high price serious consideration at this point in roster development.
The Chiefs drafted quarterback Patrick Mahomes for days like this. But not for days like .It’s snowing in Kansas City http://www.authenticskansascitychiefs.com/cheap-laurent-duvernay-tardif-jersey , with a winter storm warning in place until 7:00 p.m. ET. And as the snow falls and the wind whips and the natural grass becomes slick (after the tarp is removed), Mahomes could have a harder time doing Mahomes things.If the conditions affect the passing game, the advantage could flip to the Colts, who can pound it behind a great offensive line. The Chiefs would benefit under those circumstances from the return of Spencer Ware, who last played in Week 14 against the Ravens. (He’s listed as questionable.) Ware would complement Damien Williams, who rushed for more than 100 yards in Week 16 against Seattle’s potent run defense.Even if the game is affected by the weather, it’s hard to imagine Mahomes not finding a way to shine. His uncanny skills include the ability to always color within the lines, not doing more than he’s capable of doing. He’ll likely know what he’s capable of doing in this kind of weather, and he’ll likely find a way to do it. KANSAS CITY, Mo. 鈥?The Kansas City Chiefs are missing their star running back, likely without his backup and could have their top two wide receivers hobbled or shelved for their crucial AFC West showdown against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night.They still have Patrick Mahomes, though.And they’re still playing the Chargers.Yes, the Chargers (10-3) are one of the hottest teams in the NFL, having won three straight and nine of 10 to close within a game of Kansas City (11-2) in the division race.But the Chargers also have had about as much luck against the Chiefs as the Redskins have had with quarterbacks this year Youth Mitch Morse Jersey , losing nine straight and many of them in lopsided fashion.That includes this season’s opener in Los Angeles, when Mahomes announced his arrival to the NFL with his first four touchdown passes in the Chiefs’ 38-28 victory at StubHub Center.“We’re familiar with this group, but they do so many things. It’s never easy going up against Kansas City,” Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said.“Go back to September. You can go back to last year, to 2017, when we lost to those guys twice 鈥?same things. They are just really good.”The Chiefs have continued to play at a high level despite some personnel challenges.Running back Kareem Hunt was released nearly two weeks ago because of off-the-field issues, and new starter Spencer Ware hurt his hamstring last Sunday against Baltimore.Wide receiver Sammy Watkins is likely to miss Thursday night’s game with a lingering foot problem, and speedster Tyreek Hill is nursing wrist and heel injuries, but has insisted all week that he’ll be ready.“One thing we have been talking about all season long, you never know when your number is going to be called, so it is important that you are ready,” Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. “It’s all hands on deck. When it’s all said and done, we go out and play.”Besides, it’s not as if the Chargers haven’t had injury issues of their own.Running back Melvin Gordon is expected to be a game-time decision after spraining his right knee against Arizona and missing the past two games. His primary backup Sammy Watkins Jersey , Austin Ekeler, is likely out after hurting his neck and sustaining a concussion in last week’s win over the Bengals.“I’ve been grinding hard to get back,” Gordon said. “I know Coach (Lynn) is trying to be careful and doesn’t want me to further hurt myself or things like that. So we’ll see where that goes.”If he’s unable to play, rookie Justin Jackson would get his first NFL start.“What is it, Week 15 in the NFL? These things happen,” Chargers offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt said. “We’ll see who shows up Thursday and go from there.”100View Gallery Gallery:View from the sidelines: NFL cheerleaders 2018Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports | Raj MehtaDIVISION RACEThe Chiefs can clinch their third straight AFC West title and a first-round bye in the playoffs with a win. But even with a loss, the Chiefs would hold the tiebreaker over the Chargers by virtue of their better division record. Los Angeles needs a win to clinch its first postseason trip since the 2013 season.“Both teams are going to be all hyped up and ready to go,” said Chiefs coach Andy Reid, who is 11-3 against the Chargers in his career.BERRY’S BACK, MAYBEThere have been signs this week that Chiefs safety Eric Berry will make his season debut against the Chargers. Berry sustained a season-ending injury in last year’s opener, then hurt his heel early in training camp.“It is killing him not to be out there,” Reid said, “but at the same time, you want to be smart with it. I know he would like to play in the game.”RIVERS RUNS THROUGH ITMahomes has been getting all the attention Authentic nthony Hitchens Jersey , but Chargers counterpart Philip Rivers has been nearly as good this season. He already has 29 touchdown passes, five shy of his career best, and his interception rate is the lowest of his career.But Rivers also has struggled against the Chiefs, throwing 14 interceptions during the Chargers’ nine-game losing streak. “He’s a guy who can make all the throws,” Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller said.BENJAMIN’S DEBUTThe Chiefs hope wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin, who was cut by the Bills and signed with Kansas City last week, will be active for the game. Benjamin would provide a big body on the outside and some additional depth with Watkins likely to be out.SHORT WEEKBoth teams dismissed the challenges of playing on a short week, especially given how well they know each other. But the Chiefs also were at home Sunday, and the Chargers will be traveling across two time zones to Arrowhead Stadium, one of the toughest venues in the NFL.“We have a lot to prepare for,” Lynn said, “and like I said, it’s going to be more of a mental week. So we have to find ways to get that done.”
Book Review of “Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL” Football for a Buck: The Crazy Rise and Crazier Demise of the USFL. Jeff Pearlman Chicago Bears Hats , veteran sports author, wrote a book about a defunct league more than 30 years after it imploded in on itself and it’s the most fascinating football book I’ve read in years. In the acknowledgements section, Pearlman says when shopping the book idea around he was told “no one wants a book about the f******* USFL.” I disagree.Not only is this book somehow topical, it serves as a retrospective a generation later that only the passage of time allows us to truly appreciate. The concept of the USFL was completely reasonable. The league would provide football fans with a counterpoint to the NFL by offering a more exciting game where excessive celebrations were encouraged rather than penalized and played in the spring where it wouldn’t compete directly with the behemoth. They would focus on a few under-served cities and a few big markets and provide a home for local collegiate heroes who didn’t have the skills to make it in the NFL. Start slow. Use creative marketing techniques to gain a fan base. Build up from there. The problem, of course, is that famous line from John Steinbeck / Robert Burns “the best laid plans of mice and men, often go awry.” Start with a group of egotistical millionaires or, in some cases, egotistical con-men that paraded around like millionaires. Place them in cities that may or may not be inclined to support a spring football team with no assurances of stadium rights. Hire a mixture of coaches from the legendary George Allen to, well, a guy who was famous for coaching games from the bleachers so he could get a better view. Populate the rosters with ex-NFL players on their last legs, ex-NFL players with drug problems or worse, and maybe one or two star players mixed into each roster with the former collegiate players of the region. Expand the league in year two, well before the league is viable. Force a move to the fall to challenge the NFL head-on in the most boneheaded of decisions. Mix in spring monsoons and blistering summer heat, bizarre uniform colors and logos, and you’ve got the basics of the setup. Oh Chicago Bears Hoodie , did I mention Donald Trump? Yes, the 45th POTUS plays an integral role as owner of the New Jersey Generals. I won’t spoil all the good nuggets in this book but suffice to say that many of the tactics used by Trump will be very familiar to anyone who follows US politics (some may find the letter written to Trump by Tampa Bay Bandits owner John Bassett of specific interest). This is particularly true in the detailing of the USFL’s anti-trust lawsuit against the NFL. The result of that suit is the infamous settlement that inspired the title of the book and delivered a beautifully poetic coup de gr芒ce to the league after turning leadership over to Trump. The USFL is filled with characters that would be difficult to believe in a work of fiction. There are stories of rampant drug use, fights on commercial airline flights, races to the bank to cash paychecks before the money ran out, and more than one owner abandoning his team. An entire roster was traded for an entire roster because an owner didn’t want to travel to the home games. No, seriously, the Chicago Blitz roster was transferred to Arizona for the entire Arizona Wranglers roster. That doesn’t even happen in fantasy football. The NFL is closing in on 100 years as a league but I’d be willing to bet the crazy stories from 3 years of the USFL are greater in size and scope. For all that insanity, it’s amazing how many top flight players came through the USFL. Jim Kelly, Steve Young, Reggie White, and Sam Mills all started their careers in the USFL. NFL star Lawrence Taylor signed a futures contract at one point with the Generals. Walter Payton was offered a similar deal. That’s not to mention guys like Hershel Walker, Doug Flutie, Anthony Carter, Keith Millard and many more guys that had success in the NFL after the USFL folded. There was plenty of talent in that league. Maybe the most lasting impacts of the USFL were some of the elements the new league incorporated on a whim. Instant replay was first used in the USFL and later adopted by the NFL, as was the two-point conversion. In the modern day NFL, with salary caps increasing at a crazy rate and franchises worth billions of dollars Customized Chicago Bears Jerseys , could a spring league work? I think it could – but it would almost certainly have to be led by or associated with the NFL. If the NFL treated a spring football league not as a competitor, but a developmental league, I think there’s a chance for success. No, the Jim Kelly’s and Steve Young’s of the football world aren’t going to play there, but think of the fringe players that get cut every year or the college heroes who will never make it to the league but want to keep playing. There’s almost certainly a bigger market for players now than there was back in the 1980s to keep the dream alive toearn an NFL contract. Small number of teams, under-served cities, start slow鈥?wait, I’m talking myself into the set up again. Pearlman is a gifted writer and his handling and pacing of a chaotic three year experiment is flawless. There are so many interesting stories that you could be tempted to lose track of the narrative thread, but the book is a page turner that weaves together interesting personalities, football history, and an anti-trust lawsuit. Not an easy task. This is one of those books that will appeal to all football fans, not just those that get the added bonus of a nostalgic trip down memory lane. The best thing I can say about this book is that, much like the USFL to some of the players and founders, this was a passion project for Pearlman. The prologue starts by detailing a writing assignment from Pearlman’s high school AP English class where he wrote about the league he loved that had at that point only recently gone under. After doubling the length requirements and pouring everything he had into the paper, the grade came back as a disheartening B+ with the note “Solid job. But I feel like there’s much more to this story.” There was, and Pearlman has now told it well. Buy this book. It’s an A+ product.If you’re on the Twitter machine www.authenticschicagobears.com , consider following me @gridironborn TAMPA BAY (2-1) at CHICAGO (2-1)Sunday, 1 p.m., ET, FoxOPENING LINE 鈥?Bears by 3RECORD VS SPREAD 鈥?Buccaneers 2-1, Bears 2-1SERIES RECORD 鈥?Bears lead 38-20LAST MEETING 鈥?Buccaneers beat Bears 29-7, Sept. 17, 2017LAST WEEK 鈥?Buccaneers lost to Steelers 30-27; Bears beat Cardinals 16-14AP PRO32 RANKING 鈥?Buccaneers No. 11; Bears No. 16BUCCANEERS OFFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (1), RUSH (30), PASS (1)BUCCANEERS DEFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (31), RUSH (3), PASS (31t)BEARS OFFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (26), RUSH (12), PASS (28)BEARS DEFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (5), RUSH (2), PASS (11)STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES: Buccaneers QB Ryan Fitzpatrick leads NFL with 1 Chicago Bears T-Shirt ,230 yards passing, second with 11 TD passes. He's only player in league history to throw for 400-plus yards in three consecutive games, nevertheless coach Dirk Koetter must decide if Fitzpatrick or 2015 No. 1 overall draft pick Jameis Winston is No. 1 QB. ... Winston returned to practice this week after serving three-game suspension for violating NFL's personal conduct policy. In three career meetings vs. Bears, Winston has thrown for 811 yards and five touchdowns. ... DT Gerald McCoy has 41 sacks since 2013, tied for most among NFL DTs with Cincinnati's Geno Atkins. ... DE Jason Pierre-Paul had two sacks and forced fumble last week. ... WR Mike Evans had six catches for 137 yards and TD in Week 3. ... WR DeSean Jackson has 12 catches for 312 yards, three TDs. ... Chicago is alone in first place in NFC North for first time since late in 2013 season. ... Bears trying to win three in row for first time since 3-0 start in 2013. ... Chicago leads NFL with 14 sacks. ... LB Khalil Mack tied for league lead with four sacks 鈥?at least one in each game, including two last week. Mack also leads NFL with three forced fumbles. ... LB Danny Trevathan, DT Akiem Hicks each have two sacks. ... QB Mitchell Trubisky has thrown for 591 yards, two TDs, three interceptions. ... Fantasy tip: Jackson could be in for big game lining up on side with Bears rookie CB Kevin Toliver or, when Chicago is in base coverage, Bryce Callahan. Jackson's speed and experience could make for mismatch against either one.
I wrote over the weekend that the Steelers should have been concentrating on winning and not revenge as they prepared for a Week 11 match-up with the Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field. It’s tough to say what the Steelers had on their minds for the majority of Sunday’s action under the Florida sun Javon Hargrave Jersey , but the one thing that seemed absolutely clear was the continued mastery Jacksonville had over Pittsburgh dating back to October 8 of last season.Much like the two match-ups in 2017, the Jaguars ran all over Pittsburgh’s defense to the tune of 179 yards total. As for the performance of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, it was so bad for most of the day—he was intercepted three times by the 8:02 mark of the third quarter—people were speculating on Twitter about whether or not he should havebeen pulled from the game. Speaking of Pittsburgh’s offense, its first nine possessions ended in either a punt or those three aforementioned interceptions by Roethlisberger, with the third one occurring in the end zone, just when it looked like the Steelers would cut into Jacksonville’s 9-0 lead. Instead, the Jaguars seemed to put the final nail in Pittsburgh’s five-game winning-streak with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a two-yard touchdown dive by, who else, Leonard Fournette Donnie Shell Color Rush Jersey , the second-year running back who tortured the Steelers’ defense in both losses a year ago. The Jaguars were up 16-0, and even though a victory would only improve their record to 4-6, they surely had to be feeling good that one part of their program as a young and talented team—dominance over the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers—was still alive and well. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, their dominance over Pittsburgh evidently has an expiration date, and the milk seemed to spoil very late in the third quarter. From that moment on, the Steelers out-gained Jacksonville 249 to minus-three in yards and out-scored them 20-0 in points. The Steelers final yard was gained by Roethlisberger, who capped off the game-winning drive with a touchdown dive of his own with five seconds left. Despite one of the most ineffective days of his career, Roethlisberger wound up with 314 yards through the air and two passing touchdowns to go along with the game-winner he scored with his legs. Despite frustrating the holy heck out of Antonio Brown and terrorizing Roethlisberger with two of his three interceptions, Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey was torched when it mattered the most, on a 25-yard hookup from Roethlisberger to Brown down to the two-yard line in the final minute. As for a Steelers defense that was effectively gashed by the Jaguars running game yet again https://www.steelerssportshop.com/Carnell-Lake-Jersey , it may have bent a lot, but it only broke once. Meanwhile, Blake Bortles, the quarterback who managed to defeat Pittsburgh last October despite passing for less than 100 yards, couldn’t come through when his team needed him to, managing a measly 104 yards through the air, while getting sacked six times. The Jaguars do seem to have a knack for making the Steelers look bad and unprepared. That was on display again for all to see on Sunday. Yet,the Steelers not only walked away with a victory, they did so in improbable fashion, right when it looked like they would— at least temporarily—save Jacksonville’s season. Turns out the Steelers really did exact their revenge on the Jaguars—and they stole their souls in the process. As the Pittsburgh Steelers resume their October schedule with their Week 7 bye week L.C. Greenwood Jersey , there’s still a surge of Steelers news — so it was time to get back on the airwaves and discuss the Black-and-gold.Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC podcast The Steelers Preview. On this show Jeff Hartman and Bryan Anthony Davis break down all things Steelers leading up to this week’s game!Check out the rundown of the show:News and NotesInjuriesKey MatchupsFantasy PlayersWeek 8 AFC North predictionsand MUCH MORE!Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Bryan Anthony Davis walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel, and the main reason for this is to increase the sound quality on our shows. But if you’re a visual learner you can watch the show below. Be sure to subscribe to our channel!If you missed the live show, be sure to check out all episodes on the following platforms:Apple Users: CLICK HERESpotify: CLICK HEREGoogle Play: CLICK HEREIf you’re old-school and just want the audio, you can listen to it in the player below.
Question: When does a game featuring 105 total points produce a defensive player of the week? Answer: When 14 of those points come directly from the efforts of one defensive player.Rams linebacker Samson Ebukam is the NFC’s defensive player of the week Brandon Allen Jersey , thanks to his pair of defensive touchdowns in the 54-51 win over the Chiefs.“I think we’re so happy for him just because he works so hard,” Rams coach Sean McVay said Tuesday regarding Ebukam. “He does all those little things the right way and to be able to have an opportunity present itself and for him to be able to capitalize in two instances last night where he ends up getting the two touchdowns was great. I think anytime that you’re able to have success, you can use those experiences to draw confidence from. He’s been a confident player that’s continued to get better.”Defensive tackle Aaron Donald arguably had a bigger impact on the game Ramik Wilson Color Rush Jersey , but it’s hard to overlook a pair of defensive touchdowns. And having a guy like Donald around will create opportunities for other members of the defense to shine in the wake of the havoc that Donald wreaks. The Rams offense continued to motor along in the first half of Sunday’s game in Seattle, but they haven’t been able to pull away from the Seahawks.Russell Wilson threw one touchdown pass, Mike Davis ran for another score and the two teams are tied at 17 at halftime. The Rams got scores from Todd Gurley and Cooper Kupp https://www.ramsfanstore.com/Todd-Gurley-II-Jersey , but two other possessions in the red zone ended with just a field goal on the scoreboard.Tre Flowers and Bobby Wagner stuffed Gurley at the goal line to force a field goal and Frank Clark picked off a tipped pass to Gurley from Jared Goff for an interception in the end zone. Goff was credited with another interception on a Hail Mary to end the half and is 16-of-23 for 216 yards overall.Adding to those numbers will likely have to come without the help of Brandin Cooks, who went for a head injury evaluation after being drilled by Seahawks safety Tedric Thompson just before halftime. Kupp has six catches for 90 yards and the Rams have racked up 253 yards as a team.The Seahawks are lagging behind at 165 yards, 71 of which came on a pair of passing plays. Wilson scrambled long enough to find tight end Nick Vannett with a shovel pass that went for 32 yards to set up the Davis score and the quarterback then hit Tyler Lockett for 39 yards on the other score.That pass came a couple of plays after a big Lockett kickoff return set the Seahawks up at midfield. Blake Countess also had some success returning kickoffs https://www.ramsfanstore.com , but the Seahawks have been able to thwart some of it by using punter Michael Dickson‘s dropkicks instead of the traditional method.All in all, it’s been an entertaining opening 30 minutes in the matchup of NFC West clubs.
Week 16 will decide most fantasy football championships — one weekend where owners will either feel the elation of a mission accomplished or fall short of a goal they’ve pursued since late summer.The slate has one potential must-stack affair Lawrence Guy Color Rush Jersey , Steelers-Saints, and won’t be too hurt by the weather. If there is a theme to this week, it’s that several of the league’s top defenses collide with high-end offensive attacks.START: Drew Brees, QB, Saints: It’s fantasy blasphemy to consider sitting Brees, but he has been in a skid that has seen him average 175.5 yards in his last four games with a 6-4 TD-INT ratio. Brees has gone three straight games without throwing multiple touchdown passes but should return to his MVP-caliber self against a Steelers defense that is 21st in fantasy points per game allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Pittsburgh has allowed more than 900 passing yards in its last three games. Brees is too good to remain this bad, and with the Saints offense usually lethal at home, Brees has a great chance for redemption at the biggest moment of the fantasy season.SIT: Phillip Rivers, QB, Chargers: The Ravens pass defense has been in lockdown mode all season, allowing just three quarterbacks to eclipse 20 fantasy points. Rivers can’t be the fourth, as he will be without receiver Keenan Allen (hip pointer) in a high-stakes matchup against a Baltimore defense that is third in fewest net passing yards allowed and first in fewest yards per attempt. It’s hard to envision Rivers finishing Saturday night with more than 220 yards and a touchdown pass, numbers that won’t win many fantasy titles.START: Alshon Jeffrey, WR, Eagles: He’s been targeted 17 times in the last two games and comes off his best outing of the season, an eight-catch, 160-yard performance in the win at the Rams. Nick Foles was able to get Jeffery involved downfield in a manner that Carson Wentz couldn’t. The Texans defense has been lit up by T.Y. Hilton (Colts) and Robby Anderson (Jets) in the last two games. Houston is 27th in receiving yards allowed and has given up 24 touchdown passes. If Foles gets Jeffery in sync from the outset, starting Jeffery as a WR2 will lend to totals more suited for a WR1.SIT: David Johnson, RB, Cardinals: Johnson scored his first rushing touchdown in more than a month but managed just 33 yards on 11 carries in the loss to the Falcons. He’ll have little value in non-PPR formats even though the Rams are 21st against the run and are one of three teams (Patriots, Chiefs) that allow at least 5 yards per carry. Even in a PPR league https://www.patriotsfanstore.com/David-Andrews-Jersey , Johnson’s production will be limited as Los Angeles allows an average of just 30.4 receiving yards per game to opposing running backs, fifth-fewest overall. If there are better options on the roster, there’s no shame in sitting Johnson down.START: Marlon Mack, RB, Colts: Perhaps the biggest surprise of Week 15, Mack tore through the vaunted Cowboys run defense for 139 yards with a pair of scores and gets a great follow-up against the Giants, who are 28th against the run. Mack has three touchdowns in his last two games, and even if he’s not much of a factor in the passing game, he should be good for his fourth game this season of at least 20 touches. If so, look for Mack to put up RB1-level numbers.SIT: Tom Brady, QB, Patriots: The Bills allow the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and have held passers to less than 180 yards in eight of their last 10 games. Brady did throw for 324 yards against Buffalo in a Week 8 win but did not throw a touchdown. He has attempted at least 31 passes in all but one game this season, so the opportunities will be there for Brady. Still, it’s tough to do much damage to a Bills team that leads the league in fewest net passing yards allowed.START: Evan Engram, TE, Giants: Odell Beckham Jr. is likely done for the season, so Engram stands a great chance to at least approach the season-best 12 targets he had last week against the Titans. He’s had three straight games of at least 66 receiving yards, and while he hasn’t scored since Week 8, the high volume of opportunities works in Engram’s favor when he squares up against a Colts defense that leads the league in receiving yards per game allowed to opposing tight ends (72.6).SIT: Jaylen Samuels, RB/TE, Steelers: James Conner is expected to return to the lineup Steve Grogan Color Rush Jersey , but Samuels will still have a significant role in the offense. Either way, Samuels and Pittsburgh’s ground attack gets a bad draw against the Saints and their league-best run defense.START: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans: With running back Lamar Miller’s status in question, Watson won’t have a problem putting the ball up frequently against the Eagles and their 31st-ranked pass defense. Watson hasn’t eclipsed the 300-yard mark since Week 5, but he’s completed better than 70 percent of his attempts in four straight games and his running skills bring an added element to a formula that should result in a huge afternoon.SIT: D.J. Moore, WR, Panthers: Taylor Heinicke makes his first career start, dropping the value of Moore coming off a Week 15 loss to the Saints that saw him manage only four touches. This shapes up for a heavy workload for running back Christian McCaffrey, as Heinicke won’t be expected to produce much against a Falcons defense that has allowed 28 touchdown passes and is 31st in fantasy points allowed per game to opposing quarterbacks. On Sunday, the New England Patriots will play their first rematch of the season when they travel to Florida to take on the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots have dominated the two teams’ first encounter in week four, winning with a final score of 38-7. However, a lot has happened since then: New England got into a rhythm and now looks like one of the AFC’s best team. Miami, meanwhile, has mightily struggled with consistency.Let’s take a closer look at how the two squads have changed over the past two months.The Patriots’ wide receiver group looks drastically improved...In week four, the Patriots’ starting wide receiver trio consisted of Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett and Cordarrelle Patterson. Of the group, only Hogan still plays regular snaps on offense as the spots previously held by Dorsett and Patterson have been taken over by Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon. Edelman missed week four due to a suspension, while Gordon was active for the first time as a Patriot but saw only limited action. All in all, it is no stretch to say that the group is a far better one at the top now than it was in late September....while the Dolphins’ was bitten hard by the injury bugMiami’s wide receiver depth, meanwhile Trey Flowers Jersey , has take a turn for the worse. While the top two options from week four — Danny Amendola and Kenny Stills are still with the team and consistently producing — their next two players are both on injured reserve: Albert Wilson was moved to the list in late October because of a hip issue, Jakeem Grant in late November due to an Achilles injury. In the meantime, DeVante Parker returned to serve as the Dolphins’ number three wide receiver.Miami’s best cornerback might be outThere have been few bright spots for the Dolphins since they visited the Patriots two months ago. One might be the continued development of cornerback Xavien Howard: the third-year man has grown into Miami’s best defensive back and arguably player — one that leads the team with seven interceptions. Howard was also on the field in week four as he was the last time New England visited Florida (in week 14 of the 2017 season, when he registered two interceptions). However, it looks increasingly likely that the 25-year old will be out on Sunday because of a knee injury.Dont’a Hightower, J.C. Jackson play bigger rolesDespite allowing just eight points against Miami in week four, New England’s defense started the season inconsistently. The group has grown significantly since then, though, and the increased usage and improved play of linebacker Dont’a Hightower might be a reason why. The on-field signal caller played just 26 of 49 snaps (53%) against the Dolphins the last time, and this number should be expected to look far higher this year. Likewise, cornerback J.C. Jackson might also see more snaps than he did in week four. The undrafted rookie played just 12 (24%) but has recently served as the team’s third corner.The Dolphins’ center-quarterback exchange is not at 100%When Miami visited Foxboro in late September, quarterback Ryan Tannehill and center Daniel Kilgore were both at full strength. Since then, however, both have suffered injuries. Tannehill missed five games after hurting his shoulder — Sunday’s game will be his third back from the injury — while Kilgore was placed on injured reserve with a torn triceps he suffered against the Patriots. He might be replaced in the lineup by Jake Brendel, who himself missed yesterday’s practice due to a calf injury.New England’s backfield has more depthThe first Patriots-Dolphins game was the breakout for rookie running back Sony Michel. The first-round pick rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries and has since taken over lead-back responsibilities for New England, showing significant growth as a player over the last two months — despite a knee injury costing him two games. The Patriots’ depth at the position has also improved since week four, as Rex Burkhead returned off injured reserve last week to complete New England’s potent backfield trio alongside Michel and James White.
It’s time to stop thinking of the Los Angeles Chargers as JUST an ‘offensive聽juggernaut.’With Philip Rivers having a career year at quarterback and the squad loaded at running back and receiver Virgil Green Color Rush Jersey , it’s easy to see why the offense gets the headlines.This team has a ‘real defense.’On Tuesday during ‘The Herd’, host Colin Cowherd unveiled his weekly power rankings, with the Chargers sitting pretty at No. 3, behind only the Saints and the Chiefs, coincidentally, the Chargers’ foe on Thursday Night Football on FOX.‘They’ve allowed only 16 points per game since Week 5. They get you off the field,” Cowherd continued about the Chargers’ D. “They have a tremendous pass rush with four guys and no blitzing.”For the Rams, following their loss to the Bears, Cowherd dropped them to fifth overall.“I’ve been cool on the Rams for over a month,” Cowherd admitted. “Jared Goff has multiple turnovers in three straight games. They really miss Cooper Kupp. The defense freelances too much.”Cowherd also said the Rams struggle outside the confines of the lovely Los Angeles area weather.Watch more in the video up top. CARSON, Calif. — Josh Rosen won a California high school championship at StubHub Center five years ago. He also played competitive tennis at the complex’s training facility while growing up in nearby Manhattan Beach.His first trip to the suburban stadium as the Cardinals’ rookie quarterback won’t join those fond memories.Instead, this 45-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers will loom as another low point in an increasingly rough year for Arizona (2-9).“It was nice coming back home Caleb Sturgis Color Rush Jersey ,” Rosen said. “Last time I was on this field was the high school state championship game, so I have better memories than today. But we’ll keep pushing forward.”After jumping to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, Arizona was comprehensively flattened by the Chargers (8-3) in its third straight defeat. Players and coaches alike were left grasping for answers even while insisting they’ve still got reasons to keep working hard this season.“Guys are not doing the things that we’ve been coached to do,” defensive tackle Corey Peters said. “That’s frustrating, but we’re not going to be discouraged. … All I know how to do is put my head down and go back to work when things aren’t going right. I think that’s the best way to approach anything in football and in life. Just try to do your best.”The Cardinals have ensured their third consecutive non-winning season since making the NFC championship game three years ago, and they’ll need three wins in their final five games just to match this franchise’s worst record since 2003.The Cards realize they’re running out of chances to show progress in coach Steve Wilks’ debut season. Two weeks after staying close to the powerhouse Chiefs in a 26-14 loss, Arizona has dropped a home game to lowly Oakland and been routed in Carson.At least one unit is unlikely to take more heat than the other when Wilks reviews the film. The Cardinals were starkly outplayed on both sides of the ball.The Cardinals scored on their first two drives, yet Arizona finished with a measly 149 total yards against Los Angeles’ defense. After those two solid drives to start, the Cards got just 41 yards the rest of the way on nine drives, including a paltry 19 total yards in middle two quarters.Rosen was sacked only twice, including one crushing hit by Joey Bosa, but he felt constant pressure.“I think you’ve got to give credit to the Chargers Mike Pouncey Color Rush Jersey , but our first- and second-down plays weren’t that efficient, and it puts you in some tough third downs with a really good pass rush,” said Rosen, who went 12 of 19 for 105 yards with one self-described “really easy” interception.“When you’ve got Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram and those guys (coming at you), there’s only so much you can do in third and long,” Rosen added.The Arizona defense’s struggles perhaps were even more glaring: Philip Rivers tied an NFL record by completing 25 consecutive passes against the Cards while marching the Chargers to 45 unanswered points, including touchdowns on five consecutive possessions.“That was nuts,” Rosen said of Rivers’ perfect streak. “I went up to him after the game and I was like, `Bro, that was crazy.’ That’s why he is who he is.”With Rivers firing flawlessly through the Arizona secondary, Los Angeles made six drives stretching at least 58 yards apiece. The Chargers controlled the ball for more than 20 minutes in the second half while Arizona made only four drives, getting 25 yards and one first down with 16 plays.“They had us running around a little bit Isaac Rochell Color Rush Jersey , and we had a hard time stopping them,” defensive end Chandler Jones said. “Hats off to Philip Rivers. He played a tremendous game. He was picking us apart with little dink passes, short passes, and they hurt us. … I wouldn’t use the word `embarrassing’ at all. The Chargers are a professional football team, and they played like one.”Jones’ coach disagreed: When Wilks was asked if this one was embarrassing, he called it “definitely an understatement there.”“It definitely was embarrassing, definitely not what we want,” Wilks added. “This organization, that team in that locker room, these players and coaches, we’ve got to do better.”
With everything on the line Domata Peko Color Rush Jersey , the Denver Broncos flopped in an ugly 20-14 loss to the now 3-11 San Francisco 49ers. The loss drops the Broncos to 6-7 and on the very outside of the AFC playoff hunt. From poor playcalling to poor execution to poor coaching decisions, the Broncos had a little bit of it all in this one. First QuarterTo start the game, the Broncos defense had no answer for Nick Mullens and George Kittle as the 49ers ripped off 160 total yards in the first quarter. Despite all of those yards, the Broncos defense found a way to hold strong in the first quarter giving up just three points.Offensively, the Broncos started out with a three and out and their second drive did little to nothing as well. Fortunately, Colby Wadman came to play in this game and helped flip field position twice with 50+ yard punts. 49ers 3, Broncos 0.Second QuarterThe Broncos defense started out holding the line in the red zone, but George Kittle continued to get open against anyone who covered him until culminating early the second quarter with an apparent zero coverage call to set him wide open for an 85 yard touchdown pass. Case Keenum struggled mightily in the first half completing just 7/15 for 43 yards, with most of his success coming with short checkdowns that went nowhere. Phillip Lindsay had just five carries for three yards. Meanwhile, the 49ers kept on rolling in the first half getting Kittle to 210 yards receiving in the first half and capping their final drive before halftime with a touchdown after the Broncos defense committed a half dozen penalties. 49ers 20, Broncos 0.Third QuarterThe Broncos began finding their ability to play football again in the second half. On their first scoring drive, they converted two fourth downs that left to a Phillip Lindsay three-yard touchdown run to close the gap a bit.From there, the Broncos defense began putting the pressure on Nick Mullens who began to look hurried and rattled from it for the first time in the game. By the end of the third quarter, the Broncos offense was beginning to get another drive going having cut the 49ers lead to two scores.49ers 20, Broncos 7.Fourth QuarterThe Broncos never punted as they went for it on every fourth down in the second half. It didn’t pay off until four minutes left in the game when the fourth down conversion led to a touchdown to DaeSean Hamilton.Despite questionable play-calling, which led to four straight passes from the 1-yard line on that touchdown pass, the Broncos fought their way back into this game late. With less than four minutes to go, Vance Joseph took the game into his own hands: The 49ers would get a first down two plays later to seal victory and ending all realistic hope for a Broncos playoff run.49ers 20, Broncos 14. COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) Virgil Green is used to trading personal gain for the success of the team.In his first season with the Los Angeles Chargers Demarcus Walker Jersey , the veteran tight end’s unselfishness might be exactly what is needed following the loss of emerging star Hunter Henry to a serious knee injury.”This isn’t the first time something like this has happened, and it’s always `next man up’ mentality,” Green said following the first day of mandatory minicamp Tuesday. ”Everybody in that room has to contribute, whether you are No. 1 on the depth chart or last on the depth chart.”Henry sustained a torn ACL in practice last month, leaving Green as the only tight end on the roster that has caught a pass in an NFL game and drastically changing his role for the upcoming season. Green, who signed with the Chargers as a free agent in March after playing seven seasons for the Denver Broncos, had been expected to serve mainly as a blocking complement to Henry.Instead, Green might finally get his chance to be used more in the passing game, especially in the red zone. It was how Green was expected to be featured coming out of college at Nevada, but he never caught more than 22 passes in a season, with 48 of his 71 career receptions coming in the past three.The chance to play a more prominent role is refreshing to Green, who has four career touchdown catches.”I’ve made a living blocking when there were times I thought I should have been running routes, but I kept my mouth shut and did what I was supposed to do, won a lot of games in Denver, and I hope to bring that here,” Green said. ”Obviously, who doesn’t want to catch touchdowns? I want to catch 10 touchdowns if I could, but whatever this team needs me to do to win games, that’s all I want to do.”With Henry expected to miss the entire upcoming season, the Chargers will use a heavy dose of three-receiver sets highlighting 1 https://www.broncosfanstore.com/Chris-Harris-Jr-Jersey ,300-yard standout Keenan Allen and a diverse crop of talents including former first-round pick Mike Williams, who could be another big-bodied option near the goal line. Offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt praised the selfless nature of the wide receivers, and Green is trying to do his best to impart the same collective spirit to the tight ends.Whisenhunt recognizes it has been a challenge for Green to help the other six tight ends on the roster while learning the offense for the first time. But Green carries the authority from his time at an AFC West rival to help the group, which includes four rookies and two players in their second seasons, on how to approach life in the NFL.”I’ve been in your position before,” Green said. ”Every year they said, `Oh, this guy, he’s not going to make the roster.’ But somehow I made the roster. Don’t stress about what’s said on the outside. Just focus on your job. Do what you do, and go have fun.”Whisenhunt likes what he has seen so far from the untested tight ends behind Green, but recognizes a better evaluation will come during training camp and preseason games.”The real test comes when we put the pads on and we see how they can hold up in the blocking and what we’re asking them to do there, but we have good competition with that group,” Whisenhunt said.For Green, he is excited for the chance to help the Chargers get back into the postseason for the first time since 2013. He realizes how close they were to that goal last season while splitting the two-game season series with the Broncos.”I know what it takes, what it takes for a team to go to the playoffs and be successful, and my role is just to do whatever this team needs me to do, whatever they need,” Green said. ”I’m just focused on ending my career with a bang.”NOTES: Cornerback Jason Verrett (left knee) went through team drills for the first time since undergoing season-ending surgery last September. … Defensive tackle Corey Liuget did not participate as he recovers from foot surgery, but coach Anthony Lynn expects him to be available for training camp.—
Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is headed from Denver to Houston along with a seventh-round pick in a deal that will send a fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick back to the Broncos.There hasn’t been a formal announcement of the deal yet https://www.broncosfanstore.com/Daesean-Hamilton-Jersey , but Broncos General Manager John Elway has acknowledged that Thomas is done with the team after more than eight full seasons with the club. Elway said that Thomas, who is second in many franchise receiving categories behind Rod Smith, will be in the team’s Ring of Honor someday, but that they wanted to look at younger players in the second half of this season.“With the youth we have at receiver, we wanted to get them on the field and Demaryius goes to a team that wanted him,” Elway said, via Mike Klis of KUSA. “It was best for both sides. We weren’t going to do this unless we got value. We weren’t taking less than a fourth.”The leader of that group of young receivers is 2018 second-round pick Courtland Sutton and he should see the biggest spike in playing time with Thomas off of the depth chart. Sutton has 17 catches for 324 yards and two touchdowns so far this season. The Los Angeles Chargers out-gained the Denver Broncos 479 yards to 325 Case Keenum Color Rush Jersey , which included 401 yards passing from Philip Rivers. His top wide receiving target was Keenan Allen who finished with nine catches for 89 yards and a touchdown. Offensively, the Chargers had their way with the Broncos defense between the 20s. However, in the red zone the Broncos defense either made the play or the Chargers shot themselves in the foot with penalties.No one was more frustrated by these results than Allen, who took to basing the Broncos after the game, giving zero credit to the team that just beat them. “No, I don’t think they played well at all,” Allen said. “We dominated the game. Turnovers Jared Veldheer Jersey , we gave them some points and that’s what happened. They suck.”Here’s another way of looking at it. With the game ready to be closed out, the Chargers choked it away to the Broncos who played better when it mattered the most. Despite the domination Allen spoke of, the Chargers gained just 6.7 yards per play to the Broncos 6.3. The big difference was in time of possession where the Chargers offense was on the field for a whooping 38 minutes. Their inability to convert those long drives into touchdowns played a bigger role in their losing than anything. Dominating an opponent means scoring touchdowns and the Chargers could only muster two in a losing effort. Perhaps Allen and the Chargers are not as good as they think they are. Or, more likely, the Broncos are better than people think.
In the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s game Youth Brett Maher Jesey , Saints running back Alvin Kamara absorbed a wicked helmet-to-helmet hit from Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith on Thursday night. Kamara stumbled while trying to get up, seemingly stunned by the blow.He later returned to the game. In between, it wasn’t clear during the broadcast what precisely occurred.According to the NFL, Kamara had a concussion evaluation, both in the sideline tent and later in the locker room. Obviously, Kamara was cleared to return.TV camera showed him with smelling salts not long after the hit Cheap Travis Frederick Jersey , but there was little if any discussion about whether and to what extent he was officially examined for a brain injury.The process was initiated by the sideline medical staff, including the Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant.It’s unclear how long the overall process of clearing Kamara required, or when it officially began. The hit occurred with just under 10 minutes to play. The image of Kamara with smelling salts appeared with just under nine minutes left in the game. He was back on the field when the Saints next gained possession, with 2:35 remaining in the game. At this point in the season, rooting for the Dallas Cowboys to make the playoffs is an act of faith. Watching the Cowboys struggle to a 3-4 record makes it hard to have real confidence that some kind of run is on its way. If you accept 10-6 as the playoff mark, it’s not always correct but most of the time if you can get to that record you likely make the playoffs Cheap Josh Rosen Jersey , then the Cowboys have to finish up with a 7-2 record. The Amari Cooper trade adds hope that the offense can get on track, at least somewhat, and ditto the move to replace Paul Alexander as the offensive line coach. With a defense that is the second-best in the league at not allowing points, just an average, consistent offense would change things dramatically.Even if that happens, going 7-2 is a tall task for any team. Injuries Cheap Christian Kirk Jersey , freak plays, bad referee calls, any number of random occurrences can derail a team in a football game. The Cowboys upcoming schedule reads as such:Tennessee@ Philadelphia@ AtlantaWashingtonNew OrleansPhiladelphia@ IndianapolisTampa BayNew York (Giants)The trick is to get to 7-2 out of that. The most likely route would be to lose at Philadelphia and at home against New Orleans and sweep the rest. Those are the kind of odds the Cowboys are up against barring a meltdown by the rest of the NFC East.For specific odds, we turn to 538.com. They give the Cowboys a 21% chance of making the playoffs, a one in five shot.When 538.com runs its 100,000 simulations of upcoming games www.dallascowboysteamonline.com , they basically peg Dallas as an 8-8 team. That equates to a 5-4 run over the last nine games. To make the playoffs, they are going to have to defy the average.If you want a more upbeat prediction, we present this human prediction from the good folks at SB Nation.So BTB, make your call right now. Vote in the poll then predict the Cowboys final record in the comments. Custom Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jerseys
Coach Jon Gruden knows the Oakland Raiders aren't nearly good enough to overcome a litany of mistakes if they want to be able to beat one of the top teams in the league like the Kansas City Chiefs.So when the running backs lose three fumbles Youth Reggie Ragland Jersey , a key penalty wipes out a fourth-down conversion and a player jumps offside on a third-down stop that denied Oakland a chance to try to put together a game-winning drive, the Raiders ended up on the short end of a 40-33 loss to the Chiefs on Sunday.The loss made the Raiders (2-10) the first team to be officially eliminated from the playoffs, although Gruden is not quite ready to turn his focus to the draft and the future."We don't look ahead right now. We are looking at the Pittsburgh Steelers, that's all we are doing," Gruden said. "I'm really proud of our team. We fought back yesterday and made it 33-30 in the fourth quarter. We got them third-and-5, we get a stop and we jump offside. We gave Kansas City too many mulligans. We fumbled the ball to them three times. We had a fourth-and-1 called back, and we gave them first downs by jumping offside. We are not looking ahead to nothing except the Pittsburgh Steelers. I can assure you that, at least on our side of the building."Despite another loss that sent the Raiders to their 12th season of at least 10 losses in the past 16 years, Gruden was able to glean some positives, especially with the play from the offense.Oakland ran for 171 yards for its biggest day on the ground since Week 2 in 2017. The Raiders averaged 6.1 yards per carry but were hurt by the fumbles from Doug Martin, Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.Quarterback Derek Carr had one of his best games yet, throwing for 285 yards and three touchdowns, while extending his streak of games without an interception to seven in a row, tying Rich Gannon's franchise record.Carr even managed to stretch the field a bit, completing five passes that traveled at least 15 yards downfield, tied for his most in a single game in the past two seasons."I think the offensive line has gotten healthy. I think that helps," Gruden said. "I think we're healthier up front. Derek has played good football. I think that's a great combination. When you're healthy upfront and you've got some continuity with your linemen, you're able to pass-protect and block better. It has an effect on every phase of your offense. Derek has been hot. He's been playing well. He's really picking up the system well. He made some great audibles yesterday. He made some great throws. I'm excited about that."But it wasn't enough in part because of the fumbles, the holding penalty on center Rodney Hudson that wiped out a fourth-down conversion on the opening drive and the offside penalty against Fadol Brown that extended Kansas City's game-sealing touchdown drive.NOTES: Gruden explained why he used a challenge after Kansas City scored a TD late in the first half on a pass to Travis Kelce, even though coaches aren't allowed to challenge scoring plays. "I knew exactly what I was doing http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-cameron-erving-jersey , by the way. It wasn't a very sensible thing to do but I wanted to challenge Al Riveron in New York City to look at it because I have people in the press box telling me that's not a catch. Seeing plays overturned by somebody you can't even see, I thought with three timeouts and seven seconds left I'd use one of my timeouts by giving Al a little extra time to look at that play. I knew exactly what I was doing." ... Gruden said he wasn't sure if either OL Donald Penn (groin) or RB Marshawn Lynch (groin) will be able to return from IR and play down the stretch. ... Oakland claimed OL Denzelle Good off waivers from Indianapolis and waived Ian Silberman.What the Chiefs offense will be up against in Los Angeles NFL football started officially on Thursday night, and while this is certainly exciting on many levels, it also marks the final week of “old film” we have to run through in the Lab.By this time next week, there will be sparkling new Kansas City Chiefs film, along with film for upcoming opponents. For me, it’s almost as exciting as draft season!But first... this pesky game on Sunday, in which the Chiefs take on the Los Angeles Chargers. Since we don’t have new film, we’ll have to do the same thing the Chiefs are doing right now: go back to film from last year. so we can look at how the Chiefs could attack — and take advantage of — the Chargers defense.Since the Chargers last meaningful game in 2017 happened to be against the Chiefs, we’ll look at that film — plus the film from starters’ portion of the third preseason game — to draw up a blueprint to find success against the AFC West favorites.The Chargers defenseThe Chargers run predominately a Cover 3 zone, heavily influenced by Gus Bradley’s time with the Seattle Seahawks, so the majority of their coverage snaps have three deep zone defenders and four underneath zone defenders across the middle of the field. By its nature, this creates a lot of space underneath — that is, close to the line of scrimmage — for the curl/hook defenders to occupy.Not only are they stretching sideline to sideline, they are also often passing route runners from defender to defender. The base Cover 3 zone also creates two natural holes out to the flats on either side of the defense, because the four underneath defenders all line up between the numbers.The Chargers front is bolstered by great edge play, with stout defensive tackles between them. For the most part, they line up in an even front with four down linemen, but they will stand up either edge player from time to time, and occasionally drop to an odd front with one of the defensive ends playing more like an outside linebacker in a 3-4.The Chargers defense is at its most dangerous when they get Joey Bosa (who may not play) and Melvin Ingram lined up on the same side of the line Tyreek Hill Jersey , from where they can run a variety of inside and outside stunts.The Chargers are pretty quick to go to the nickel — removing a linebacker from the field — and also don’t hesitate to play a light nickel with a third safety playing like a linebacker. This has its ups and downs, because the Chargers linebackers struggle in coverage.It improves the pass defense, but it puts a lot of stress on the safeties to protect against the run. How to attackGenerating YAC in SpaceAs we know, Andy Reid runs the West Coast offense, and while he’s changed plenty over the years, he’s still got a big chunk of plays designed to get the ball to players out in space. Against a team like the Chargers that runs so much Cover 3, it’s pretty simple to draw up zone-beating route combinations to take advantage of the light underneath defenders. As long as the cornerback dropping into the deep third of the field has to carry a receiver deep, there is going to be a hole underneath them — and when in doubt, hold the apex/slot defender, who is the nearest hook/curl zone in place with a third receiver. Here is a relatively basic vertical concept with a jet motion from DeAnthony Thomas, who continues out a swing route as a checkdown receiver. While the verticals are the main read of the play, they also act as a clear out in case the Chargers defense is in position to stop all the verticals.In this case, that’s exactly what happened. The Chargers’ hook/curl defenders carry their receivers deep enough to shrink all the throwing windows, but this left Thomas wide open with about 10 yards of free space in front of him as the ball is being thrown. On this particular play, Thomas wasn’t the designed target, but this is the kind of space that Reid uses to his advantage with his screen and horizontal passing attack. Often, the Chargers will counter this by altering their Cover 3 assignments by playing Cover 3 cloud/saint. This is essentially like a Cover 2 zone to one side of the field, and a Cover 3 to the other.Basically, a cornerback (a field or boundary corner, depending on the call) will play a flat zone while the apex/nickel corner (or a safety) will drop to the deep third. As we see here Dustin Colquitt Jersey , the boundary cornerback is actually in a flat zone — rather than dropping to a deep third — while the safety (the second highlighted player) drops into the deep third.As the ball is snapped, the quarterback is thinking Cover 3 based on the pre-snap motion that rules out man coverage. So he immediately looks to the vertical route along the boundary to make sure the cornerback is carrying the receiver and then looks to come back underneath to the running back in the flat.Fortunately for the Chargers, the cloud adjustment means the cornerback can now sit on the flat and be ready to break underneath because there is someone else covering deep — so the quarterback has to look elsewhere. It’s a great adjustment by Chargers to get the same deep safety net, while not allowing the flats to be exploited.But there still are downsides to this scheme.As mentioned above, the safety is now the deep-third defender, allowing the cornerback to play the flat but that also means there is one less defender in the middle of the field. The cornerback is not replacing the safety between the numbers but rather defending outside the numbers which equates to (now) three defenders covering the middle of the field from numbers to numbers. Partially thanks to a great route by Travis Kelce and partially due to the other hook/curl defenders being occupied by the backside routes, there is no chance for LA to stop Kelce on the slant. What makes it even better for the Chiefs offense is that with the nature of the defense, there is still a ton of open field to run through, and with athletes like Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Tyreek Hill, that can spell trouble for the Chargers. Another weakness of this adjustment in assignments is now a safety is turning and running downfield with vertical routes. They should be in good position to stay over the top but safeties are typically a step below cornerbacks in terms of tracking a ball and turning to run. A team with the speed the Chiefs have could easily get Hill or Watkins isolated on a safety downfield. Dominating “light” personnelThe Chargers were very willing to go into their nickel package against 11-personnel by the Chiefs, and on downs that favored the pass, they didn’t hesitate to go with a dime package. Like the Chiefs last year, they tried to assist iffy linebacker play in coverage by using a safety as a linebacker, and the Chiefs were able to take advantage of that in both matchups. This play is actually against 12-personnel, and the Chargers technically are in a dime sub-package just with two safeties playing like linebackers. The box already favors the Chiefs blockers, seven blockers to six defenders, but then accounting for the types of players out there it wasn’t even fair. In order to handle the athletic tight ends like Kelce and Demetrius Harris, LA felt uncomfortable sticking with its “base” defense and using LBs to cover or man the zones against them. Their solution was to run out safeties, but when you have tight ends that can block as well as Kelce and Harris (and potentially Alex Ellis) that spelled trouble. Showcasing the tight ends as weapons in the passing game over the years should be enough to already introduce this adjustment by LA in Sunday’s game Cheap Travis Kelce Jersey , but if not it, it’s a true pick-your-poison for LA because handling the Chiefs tight ends with linebackers is not a simple task. Find the space verticallyWhile a Cover-3 defense’s main goal is to prevent the deep pass and keep everything in front of them, there are still windows both in the intermediate and deep areas. The first method, which works when a team plays a little more stagnant of a defense like LA does, is to call up route combinations specifically designed to attack their preferred coverage. For a Cover 3-heavy defense, it’s become quite common to attack a single third defender with multiple vertical routes while occupying the closest help defender. There are quite a few different route combinations that attack the defense in different ways and a good overview of them can be found in this prelude to the Atlanta Falcons’ preseason game earlier this year (yes, the Patomic Bomb game).The second way the Chiefs should look to attack this Chargers defense is through play-action. Everyone knows how special the Chargers’ edge rushers can be, and due to their talent level, they are often green-lighted to attack the quarterback. While good run defenders, they specialize in terrorizing quarterbacks, so they often get upfield quickly and play the run second. This is what they should do, but it also places a ton of pressure on their linebackers and safeties to fill run gaps that may be widened. If a team can establish the run or even just flash the big play ability like KC was able to do last year, then those linebackers become trigger-happy to take their read-steps forward without fully reading the entire triangle (offensive line-running back-ball).That’s exactly what happens here on this completion to Michael Thomas for the Saints. Coming off the play-action, all three linebackers step forward multiple times before identifying the pass and having to scramble back into proper depth. The outside wide receiver runs a clearout seam while Thomas comes from the backside of the formation on the over route to the vacated area. It’s a similar result to the 7-9 concept in the aforementioned route combo article leading up to the Falcons game that works because there are three potential receivers, including the running back in the flat, attacking two possible defenders. The bottom lineIntermediate passing lanes like this should be available for the Chiefs (as well as the deep shots to some extent) that weren’t taken advantage of as much last year. We’ve already seen how deadly the Mahomes-Kelce connection can be on the over/dig and corner routes. These windows should be attacked pretty heavily. As long as the Chiefs can establish a competent run game by abusing the lighter boxes LA will show them, these windows should become pretty apparent and easy to target. With the inaugural 2018 game just a few days away, one can’t help but overcome with excitement and yet a little bit of nervousness knowing this is the beginning of a new era for the Chiefs. The good news is that even with a new quarterback at the helm, the Chiefs have found plenty of success attacking this Chargers defense in the past and the addition of Mahomes’ arm should help exasperate that outcome.
When the Houston Texans come to town on Sunday Nate Hairston Jersey , it represents the first truly significant game on the Colts 2018 schedule. They’ll face an opponent against whom they are familiar, who has struggled out of the gate, and who represents an all-important opportunity at a divisional win. Whether or not the Colts can get a win remains to be seen, but it will hinge, as all games do, on their ability to win their individual matchups. With that in mind, here are some of the matchups we should be watching for come Sunday.Quenton Nelson vs Zach CunninghamIf you know who Zach Cunningham is, this undoubtedly confused you. Cunningham is a linebacker. He was somewhat abused by the Giants last week, and can struggle to react quickly to plays. From Battle Red Blog:Might I remind you of this little gem from the Redskins game:Quenton Nelson is a man who can eat a linebacker for lunch and pick his teeth with a blitzing cornerback. He has athleticism, size, and nastiness in his favor. Given Cunningham’s struggles in run defense against the Giants, you can definitely expect some pulling plays like this which will put Nelson on him and allow him to create big running lanes for Jordan Wilkins and possibly Marlon Mack.Denzelle Good vs J.J. WattTroy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsWe haven’t seen top level J.J. Watt in awhile. Injuries have taken their toll on him the last couple seasons and kept him a bit off his game. However, last week we saw a player who looks like he could take over a game. With Joe Haeg out with an ankle injury, the spotlight will be on Good to handle the right side of the offensive line and a very formidable Watt, who when he is on his game, is one of the best defensive linemen in the NFL. The Colts would be foolish to let this matchup be one-on-one, because that would end badly for Good and worse for Andrew Luck. They’ll likely give Good help from Matt Slauson, the tight ends, and even running backs chipping. They’ll also try to get the ball out quickly, as they have all season. If Good can contain Watt Cheap Joe Haeg Jersey , this offense should be able to put up points on the Texans. If he cannot, it will be a long day for the Colts. Additionally, holding his own against Watt allows them to rush the ball effectively using those pulling blocks like we talked about earlier. If they can establish the running game and chew the clock, this game could be a big one for the Colts. T.Y. Hilton vs Texans’ Defensive BacksThomas J. Russo-USA TODAY SportsT.Y. Hilton has put up a lot of big games against the Houston Texans. For whatever reason, when he and Andrew Luck play the Texans, more often than not they put on an air show. Given the team’s injury hampered secondary, there is little reason to think this won’t continue. Hilton has been a clear target for Luck all season, often drawing looks from Luck even when it might be prudent to go elsewhere. While Luck’s decision making with regard to targeting Hilton can sometimes be suspect, it also makes it clear that he won’t skimp on looking #13’s way this Sunday. Hilton will be facing Johnathan Joseph or Aaron Colvin in coverage, and the Colts will be pleased with those matchups all day. With targets like Eric Ebron over the middle drawing safety help, I expect Hilton to have a big game here.Malik Hooker vs Deshaun WatsonBrian Spurlock-USA TODAY SportsDeshaun Watson is going to be a very good player in this league. He can make plays with his legs, make some breathtaking throws, and has the intelligence to run an offense that few sophomore quarterbacks often demonstrate. Last season he was electrifying in the short period before he was lost to an ACL tear. He was also lucky. Watson likes to throw the jump ball. He trusts his receivers to go up and get 50/50 balls, and it is tough to blame him when he has guys like DeAndre Hopkins to pass to. However, those 50/50 balls nearly all went his way last season, and that isn’t usually nearly so successful an endeavor. That’s why his play has come back down to earth this season, and its why I think Malik Hooker will get his first pick of the year on Sunday. Hooker has the range to get to a jump ball, the skills to track it, and the athleticism to go up and take it away. His ridiculous extension to break up a sure touchdown against the Eagles last week demonstrated that he is starting to feel more like his pre-injury self, and if he is challenged deep Cheap Darius Leonard Jersey , which he almost certainly will be, he is going to make Watson pay.Margus Hunt vs Cardboard cutout of an offensive linemanGeoff Burke-USA TODAY SportsThe Houston Texans have a terrible offensive line. Their offensive line wishes it could be as good as the Colts’ line last year. It is really bad. There is hope that it can get better, because they’re playing two rookies, but they are an almost completely turned over unit that let Deshaun Watson get sacked 3 times and hit 11 last week. What would they look like if they had a quarterback without the awareness and mobility of Watson? On the other hand, Margus Hunt has been like some sort of Estonian god-man who is experiencing his breakout season at 31 years old. He has been a near unstoppable force through three weeks, and hasn’t yet faced a truly terrible offensive line. It legitimately isn’t hard to see Hunt managing to net a couple more sacks on Sunday against this line, and if he can, it will be a truly impressive start to what will be a career year for him.Darius Leonard vs all defensive rookiesPhoto by Mitchell Leff/Getty ImagesDarius Leonard leads the NFL in tackles. He also has 3 sacks to his credit. He has been a phenom through three games in the NFL. The player who was picked too early has come out looking like the best defensive player in the 2018 draft, and he will undoubtedly be looking to continue his run of dominance and claw and scratch his team to a win. While it is less likely to be at the forefront of his mind, there is little doubt that Leonard would love to net himself the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and he has already spoken about wanting to earn himself a pro bowl bid this year. If he can continue to have strong performances like the ones he has been stringing together, there is no reason that should be considered out of reach at all. In fact, if he can keep up his current pace, Defense Player of the year might not be out of reach (assuming Khalil Mack settles down).Film Room: Quenton Nelson pass blocking vs. San Francisco 49ers, Preseason Week 3 Throughout the preseason, Quenton Nelson has showed some very positive attributes. His biggest pass blocking strengths have been showing a strong anchor and winning battles any time he is able square up a defender. His biggest weakness has been battling lateral quickness, particularly when he doesn’t have a chance to get his paws on the defender immediately.We will close out our Week 3 look at Nelson’s performance by examining his pass blocking from the weakest to strongest snaps against the 49ers.This is an example of Nelson’s primary weakness as a pass blocker. When he does not engage a defender early in the snap, he is susceptible to losing against speed. He will need to continue working to improve this area of his game to become an elite pass blocker. There are plenty of starting defensive linemen in the NFL who have the combination of strength and speed needed to exploit this weakness during the regular season.Here, Nelson is left to simply grab at the defender’s jersey to keep Luck from getting killed.This is one of the funnier holds I have ever seen breaking down film. The defensive lineman gains leverage with a bull rush right off of the snap. Nelson is able to stymie his progress into the backfield but as he does the defender leaps into the air — in an attempt to potentially bat down a Luck pass. When the defender lands, his legs get tangled up with Nelson Cheap Quincy Wilson Jersey , who realizes he is going to go down. Rather than allow the defensive lineman get free, Nelson tackles him to the ground.There was no holding called on the play but Nelson clearly got away with one here.One of Nelson’s best pass blocking attributes is his ability to anchor and keep pressure from coming right into the face of the quarterback. He is attempting to do the same on this play but takes a shot from the defender into his face-mask. This is illegal use of the hands, hands to the face and should have been a penalty. It wasn’t though, and the result is Brissett throwing a quick release to Nyheim Hines — who is summarily crushed.This play demonstrates what you will most often see from Nelson in terms of his anchor and strength on the line. Coming directly into his grasp is almost always a losing proposition. The only effective bull rushes I’ve seen of Nelson have included hands locked out on his shoulder pads or illegal hands to his face.If you don’t achieve one of those two objectives, you’re going to lose.This is another example where the defender comes directly into Nelson and then tries to navigate out of the block. This isn’t going to happen. Once Nelson is in a defender’s chest and the initial impact is established, the defender is pretty much done.As we acknowledged in the ground game, one of Nelson’s best attributes as an offensive lineman is the ability to quickly diagnose how to address oncoming defenders. He efficiently passes off the first defender to Haeg on the outside and moves back to the inside to thwart the stunt. Here is another example of incredible vision and quick reaction by Nelson. This kind of awareness will make life much easier for Luck in 2018. Nelson dismisses the initial burst from the defensive lineman and pass him inside to Kelly and Braden Smith. He recognizes the stunt and moves back to the outside to take over for Le’Raven Clark, freeing him to slide outside and get a body on the stunting defensive end.If the offensive line can establish continuity and communicate like this in the regular season, it will bode well for the Colts passing offense.This is easily my favorite play from Nelson this year. What you’re watching here is All Pro level, rare offensive line play. Note that Nelson identifies that his defender is heading to the inside. He gets a push to pass him off and simultaneously identifies pressure coming from the outside. You can see his head turn at the pause. What makes him a very rare athlete for his size, and such a tremendous offensive line prospect, is what he does next.Nelson explodes back toward the outside pressure to help Joe Haeg. Good thing he does because Haeg is getting driven back into Luck’s blind side. Braden Smith gets completely demolished on the bull rush to his right, making Luck leave the pocket anyway, but this is a long first down run for Luck that was made possible by Quenton Nelson. If Nelson isn’t on the Colts, this is likely a sack or strip sack.ANALYSISQuenton Nelson is a phenomenal offensive line prospect. He is not without his flaws and will have areas he needs to improve throughout the early portions of his career but if he can stay healthy, he will be an absolutely dominant force. Nelson does things that very few offensive linemen do. He does those things because very few offensive linemen are aware enough to even realize they should do those things, and of those that do, even fewer are athletically gifted enough to do them in the first place. This was the best all around film Nelson has put together in his young career, which is a great sign for the Indianapolis Colts as the team prepares to start the regular season.
The Chicago Bears are just days removed from their heartbreaking loss to the Miami Dolphins. Luckily for most fans Chicago Bears T-Shirt , Week 7’s match up against the New England Patriots is right around the corner, even with the fear of dropping to 3-3 and out of first place with a loss on Sunday.Despite that reality, there’s plenty of excitement and intrigue surrounding this Bears team, which should led to at least playoff conversations in December for the first time since 2013. In order to get there, they must continue to win games. With a crucial Week 7 game ahead on Sunday, let’s dive into this week’s mailbag to see if we can’t solve some of the world’s problems on our own.Usayd Koshul (@usaydkoshul)— Going into the season, what were your expectations for Mitchell Trubisky and after five games, has he met or exceeded your expectations?There were plenty of Trubisky questions this week but I felt like this question touched the most bases.For me, Trubisky is about right on par with where I figured he would be. Obviously numbers for quarterbacks inflate dramatically over the first two months of the season before the weather drops off and it truly becomes football season. So far, I’d say it’s been a mixed bag for Trubisky but the key is how many steps forward he’s taken the last two weeks.There was a lot of talk about the complexity of the offense and how that was affecting the second-year quarterback and I think to an extent that was justified. Fans have to understand that the entire offense was struggling over the first few games of the season with head coach Matt Nagy’s offense. Receivers weren’t getting lined up correctly, they were ending up in the same place as other pass catchers at the end of their routes, and the offensive line had multiple breakdowns early on.Nagy peeled back a little bit against Tampa Bay and I think it helped tremendously. Watching Trubisky over the past two games, his boost in confidence is noticeable. His comfort and pocket presence is also very noticeable and equally as important, players are finding their roles in an offense that is less than six months old.Overall, I’d say Trubisky is right on track of where I expected him to be, even if the exact route he’s taken wasn’t how I expected. The key is to keep taking steps forward from here and I see that progression continuing. Sheldon Absher (@_SheldonAbsher_)— If you had to guess right now, what do you think the NFC North standings will look like at the end of the season?During the Bears bye week, I tweeted that I thought the Bears were the best team in the NFC North. If you’ve followed the Bears or the fan base long enough, you’d know that many fans suffer from PTSD due to this disastrous stretch over the past five or so seasons.Even so, I have to admit I was a little surprised at the amount of push back I received over that statement. A week (and a loss) later Chicago Bears Hats , I still believe the Bears are the best team in the NFC North. The Bears had the hottest start of all three teams and like most NFL fans, the present takes up most of their memory. So right now, the Bears are being looked at as the “struggling” team because they are the only team in the North to lose in the past two weeks.The reality is this:The Packers have a bye week then face the Rams and Patriots on the road, followed the Dolphins, Seahawks and Vikings. That’s five teams currently sitting at .500 or better.The Vikings face a slightly more mild schedule and and the Lions are in a similar position. After the Bears complete their four game stretch with the AFC East, they face the NFC North in five out of their last eight games but three of those five are at home. They also currently hold a half-game “advantage” over both the Packers and Vikings due to their tie. Ultimately, I believe the Bears control their own destiny moving forward. Just get to 5-3 and go from there.Elliot Brandt (@Elltrain720)— What kind of adjustments need to be made to counteract the two second shotgun throws to the slot that we cannot seem to defend?Good question. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that Vic Fangio consistently plays his boundary corners well off the line of scrimmage. Outside of last week’s game, I think the Bears defense has done a nice job of covering screens and most of the short attacks from opposing teams.In some ways I believe Fangio tried counteracting some of the Dolphins’ attack by dropping both Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd into coverage. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of that. I know it’s becoming old to hear but I truly believe the heat played a large role in Albert Wilson’s final two touchdown catches and their 15 missed tackles in the second half.Brian Beck (@beckbrian7)— What is your take on Leonard Floyd so far?Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY SportsFrom a pass rushing standpoint, Floyd’s numbers have been disappointing. I truly thought that with the addition of Mack, he and Akiem Hicks would reap the most rewards from it. So far, I’ve been wrong. A few factors to consider, though.Floyd’s hand injury did him absolutely no favors. Doesn’t excuse zero sacks through five games but was a bigger setback than most had originally expected.He’s learning a brand new side. He’s never had a ton of pass rushing tools. It was actually one of the main reasons I wasn’t a fan of him at Georgia. He’s long and athletic but he’s always been raw. Now you tell him he’ll take 80% of his snaps from a new side and now he’s having to break habits and re-work them.All in all, Floyd’s production needs to come at some point but it’s somewhat understandable as to why he hasn’t been a big factor as a pass rusher. On the plus side, he’s been excellent against the run and much better in coverage. Jack Devaney (@Eyes_On_It_All)— What do you think Nagy’s reasoning was on that 3rd and 4 run call in OT?I think he simply went too conservative. I know that’s not a very complex answer but that “Be You” reminder that he has on his play call sheet during each game, must have fallen off because that three play sequence was a complete contradiction to what he’s preached all offseason. He claimed he didn’t want to take a sack in that situation but I’m not sure a punt in that situation is any worse than missing a 53-yard field goal and allowing Miami the field position to win the game. A tie would have been better in that situation than an outright loss, in my opinion.Now we get to see if he learned from it. My guess is, we’ll see a more aggressive approach whether he verbalizes it or not.Tommy Missel (@TommyMissel)— When is Shaheen coming back?Aaron Doster-USA TODAY SportsEarly guess based on what has been reported and what Nagy has said is that Shaheen will be back around Week 11. I know that doesn’t sound exactly ideal but judging by reports of his side work last Sunday before the game, he’s still not very close to being ready to take the field.Nagy continues to confidently say Shaheen will be back this season, so I’ll believe him but I do think that his return will likely be closer to the back end of the required timeline.MJ Ogle (@ogle_mj)— Why is Jordan Howard not getting big runs?On the season Chicago Bears Hoodie , Howard is averaging just 3.5 yards-per-carry, which is a career low for him. His snap count has also gone down from 72% to 51% over the last four games but I don’t think that’s really by design.Looking at the Bears two biggest most impactful skill players (Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel) they both have one thing in common- Speed. I don’t think it’s exactly a coincidence that since those two have gotten going the past two games, the offense has racked up over 900 yards and scored 76 points. As far as Howard goes, his vision hasn’t been great from my perspective. I’ve seen him miss multiple holes running inside. He has his moments where he looks like old Howard but I’m not sure Nagy is using him the right way, either. His runs have been much more obvious but then again, that’s what happens when you’re not as dynamic of a player as someone like Cohen.Howard’s value likely comes when the weather cools down. Some of his biggest performances the past two season has been when the weather is at it’s worst. Welcome to SB Nation FanPulse — a survey of fans across the NFL, powered by SurveyMonkey. Each week, we send 32 polls to 100+ plugged in fans from each team. Bears fans, sign up HERE to join FanPulse.It’s been a while since the Chicago Bears have been in first place in the NFC North, so it’s understandable that us fans are feeling good about our 2-1 Bears. Even though the defense is carrying the team, head coach Matt Nagy has many of us believing the offense will come through at some point. Even if the offense can only make small gains from a week to week basis, their D looks good enough to give them a chance every single game. The latest FanPulse survey did see Bears’ fan’s confidence levels dip a smidge, but only by 2%. Plus our fans are the most confident among all the NFC North fans at 82%.Here’s our our fans have voted this year.Like we did last week, we’ll take a peek at the confidence levels from the other NFC North teams. The Green Bay Packers lost 31-17 last week to the Washington Redskins, and as expected, their fans are feeling the pressure. The Minnesota Vikings got creamed by the Buffalo Bills last week (27 to 6) and their fans have spiraled into panic mode. The 57% drop in confidence from a week ago was the largest drop among all fans. Plus there’s also the Everson Griffen situation the team is dealing with. The biggest gain in confidence came from fans of the Detroit Lions (+48%) after their big win against the New England Patriots. This week’s Bears vs Buccaneers game will be very telling for fans of each team. The Bucs’ fans are riding high with a 93% confidence level, and that’s coming off a loss. What are your thoughts on these results?If you aren’t a part of WCG’s FanPulse, join now!
Allen Hurns on second interception in Houston: The worst play-call you can make against that coverage It’s been a rough week for the Dallas Cowboys. They’re 2-3 and just lost in overtime on the road against the Houston Texans Authentic Jaylon Smith Jersey , and to make matters worse the entire world is second-guessing Jason Garrett’s 4th and 1 decision to punt.There’s a lot of second-guessing going on with the team actually, and some of it is even coming from inside the locker room. According to ESPN’s Josina Anderson, Allen Hurns believes the play that Scott Linehan dialed up on Dak Prescott’s second interception of the night (Deonte Thompson was the intended target) was the worst that you could dial up against that kind of coverage. Watch her explain below.What’s particularly interesting to note is that Josina emphasizes a few times that what Hurns said was all on the record so he was very aware that what he said would be getting out. Did he want that message out in the world? Was that the intent? It’s hard to imagine not.Hurns also told Anderson that sometimes things are on Dak, sometimes they’re on the play call. Additionally Youth Ezekiel Elliott Jersey , he calls out the blocking and the wide receivers. He doesn’t seem to be isolating any particular person with his message, just stressing overall accountability for the offense. Many will note that what Hurns is saying is similar to what Dez Bryant said about the Cowboys offense at the tail end of the 2017 season. He was eventually released. Are the Cowboys going to respond with Hurns the same way? Are they going to adjust what they do offensively? There are only questions and no answers right now.Update: 4:00pm ETAllen Hurns met with the media following Wednesday’s practice, and he didn’t back down from his comments to Josina Anderson. It’s a good week to be a Cowboys fans. Dallas dispatched the Eagles on the road and there’s a flicker of playoff hope lingering in the air. So in that spirit, we offer up a double feature of Cowboys talk. Brews & The ‘Boys: Cowboys Saved Their Season In PhiladelphiaThe Cowboys played really well this past Sunday...ON THE ROAD?!! Dak Prescott http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-cole-beasley-jersey , Ezekiel Elliott, and Amari Cooper lead the offense to a win over the defending Super Bowl Champions in their house. Is this a sign of things to come or just another ascension on this roller coaster ride? The NFC East is still wide open. For more, visit www.BrewsAndTheBoys.com and www.BloggingTheBoys.com.OchoLive: LVE Is DPOW | Bama WRs | Injury TalkWhaddup World! Welcome to a Hump Day edition of OchoLive! On today’s episode we’re celebrating a big-time achievement by Dallas Cowboys linebacker Leighton Vander Esch. LVE, aka Wolf Hunter Dak Prescott Jersey , was named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his huge performance in the win over the Philadelphia Eagles. We also get into the crop of Alabama wide receivers that are going to be a part of Sunday’s Cowboys and Falcons game as well as the injuries mounting as we head towards it. Custom Tennessee Titans Jerseys
Scott Linehan still has the support of Jerry Jones and Jason Garrett — at least publicly — but the Cowboys offensive coordinator is the No. 1 target of fans and sports talk radio hosts in Dallas-Fort Worth.The Cowboys rank 27th in total offense Youth La'el Collins Jersey , including 29th in passing, and 26th in points. Dak Prescott ranks 24th in passer rating at 88.9, and he has only four games with more than 200 yards passing, including a season-high of 273.Linehan takes responsibility for the Cowboys’ offensive ills.“Everything we’re about is ownership and accountability this week,” Linehan said Thursday, via Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News. “I fully own that we haven’t been good enough offensively. It starts with me.”Jones said Monday night he is 鈥渘ot anticipating any more coaching changes鈥?after being asked whether Linehan would retain his job, and a day later, Garrett said Linehan remains the team’s play caller “right now.”It marked the third time this season Garrett has asked whether he was taking over the play calling.“Jerry’s message is obviously very, very appropriate,” Linehan said. “I think everybody has to look inward and not outward. We have got to be be better at our jobs. We feel like if that’s our approach as individuals, we’ll be better as a team.”Garrett called the plays in 2011 and 2012, his first two full seasons as head coach, before turning it over to Bill Callahan. Linehan has served as the team鈥檚 play caller since he was hired in 2014. There is absolutely no secret what the Cowboys strive to do on offense. It’s faster than walking and rhymes with fun. That’s right, they are built to run the football Youth Antwaun Woods Jersey , and everything they have done personnel wise over the last few years reflects just that.The problem is, over the last month, that identity has failed them and it has cost them multiple games. At the start of the season, the consensus was that the Cowboys had one of the best, if not the best, running backs in the NFL, and one of the best, if not the best, offensive lines in the NFL. Heading into week 10, both of those things can’t be said anymore. This post is in no way meant to take shots at Ezekiel Elliott, he still is one of the best backs in the league, but to highlight that if the identity of this football team is going to be completely built around him, he needs to do more, much more.Ezekiel Elliott’s rushing stats so far this season are still pretty good. He currently ranks fourth in rushing yards Womens Demarcus Lawrence Jersey , fourth in attempts, fourth in yards per game, and fourth in first-down runs. Where his numbers take a dive is his yards per attempt where he is tied at 18th in the league at 4.6 YPA, and touchdowns where he is tied with many at 21st in the NFL with three. Where the concern starts to creep in is over the last month of the season. In the Cowboys last four games, Elliott has combined for 254 yards on 76 carries for an average of 3.2 yards per carry, and just one touchdown. Those numbers are unacceptable for a team that lives and dies by the production they get from their running game. It is often said that the Cowboys struggle to run the football when defenses put focus on the running game and stack the box, but so far this season the stacked box percentages probably aren’t as high as you may have thought. According to Next Gen Stats, Ezekiel Elliott has faced a loaded box (8+ defenders) on just 26.35% of his rushing attempts, that ranks 17th in the NFL. Another stat that leaves one scratching their head is that the Cowboys running game leads the NFL in rushing yards before contact, which should correlate to a lot of big gains on the ground.There are multiple reasons the Cowboys running game has struggled to match what it did in 2016, and the blame can be placed at multiple different people/positions. Let’s take a look at the film to see what needs to change in order to get the running game back on track.Troy Taormina-USA TODAY SportsEzekiel ElliottEzekiel Elliott is a special talent, and one of the best players at his position in the NFL. He runs with excellent burst, patience, vision Womens Taco Charlton Jersey , and balance and all of the traits together make him one of the best running backs in the NFL. But there are some things he needs to do better if he wants to put this team on his back, like the Cowboys coaching staff is expecting him to do.Here on the second rush attempt for Elliott on Monday Night, he had an opportunity for a big run instead of a loss of one yard. If Elliott sticks his foot in the ground at the 41-yard line and cuts this run back at the numbers he had a chance for a huge gain. Even if he isn’t able to hit the homerun, it would have resulted in a positive play instead of a loss. Here is another play where Elliott makes the wrong read. Here, Zeke decided to cut this one back and runs right into the Tennessee edge. If Elliott would have continued to take the football to the edge, it looks like it would have been a one-on-one matchup between 228-lb Ezekiel Elliott and 180-lb Malcolm Butler. I’m taking Zeke in that matchup to gain four yards every single time, instead they lose two, and Dak Prescott throws an interception on the very next play.Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY SportsPoor ExecutionThe blocking has been the #1 issue when it comes to lack of production from the running game. Whether it’s the offensive lineman, tight ends, or scheme, the blocking has not been good enough. The Cowboys are very stubborn with their confidence in their tight ends when it comes to run blocking. None of them are very good at it, but they continue to ask them to do it far too often. It’s very hard to place blame on this play. Joe Looney is supposed to get to #55 here, while Dalton Schultz blocks the right man. Due to the way that #94 rushes on this play, Looney gets caught up and unable to reach the Titan linebacker who blows up the play before it can even get started.As the Cowboys players learn here Womens Leighton Vander Esch Jersey , leaving Harold Landry unblocked is never a good idea. This play was changed at the line of scrimmage and it’s hard to imagine that Dallas wanted to leave the backside defender unblocked this close to the goalline.This is just a pitiful rep from rookie Dalton Schultz. Off the snap, Schultz gets some help from TE Rico Gathers before he heads to the second level, as soon as Gathers moves off of Kilgo, Schultz gets tossed lack a sack of potatoes. If the coaching staff is going to ask Schultz, Jarwin, and Gathers to block defensive lineman on a regular basis, the running game will continue to struggle to get going. One of the biggest issues in the running game is also the predictability in what down and distances the Cowboys are going to run on. It is no secret that the Cowboys use the run to set up play-action, while the most of the NFL is using play-action to set up the run. This simple change in philosophy would open up the offense quite a bit and really allow Ezekiel Elliott to reach his full potential, and keeping defenses guessing on what will be a pass and what will be a run. The Cowboys need to figure this out fast, because the season is slipping away. Custom Los Angeles Rams Jerseys
Outside of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/ron-parker-jersey , no one on the Seattle Seahawks defense has proven more valuable this season than safety Bradley McDougald.And just in time for a visit from the leading passer in the NFL, the Seahawks aren't sure if McDougald will be able to play Sunday against Kansas City.McDougald's knee injury is one of several that could change Seattle's lineup for a Week 16 matchup where a victory and some help from others could clinch an NFC wild-card berth for the Seahawks.McDougald has been dealing with a patellar tendon injury that flared up during the first half last week against San Francisco and forced him to become a spectator for the vast majority of the loss to the 49ers. Seattle coach Pete Carroll said McDougald is away from the team for a few days getting additional treatment on his knee and is expected back by the end of the week.But when asked if he thought McDougald would be able to play against Patrick Mahomes and the NFL's top passing offense, Carroll could only say, "possibly." If McDougald can't play against the Chiefs it would be second-year safety Delano Hill stepping in. Hill played 52 snaps last week against San Francisco.Seattle is equally unsettled at right guard and potentially with its depth in the backfield.The Seahawks placed guard Jordan Simmons on injured reserve Tuesday due to a knee injury suffered in the loss to San Francisco and it's uncertain whether D.J. Fluker's injured hamstring will be healthy enough for him to return this week.The injuries have left Seattle possibly needing a major shuffle on an offensive line that has helped create the top rushing offense in the NFL.Ethan Pocic struggled last week when he stepped in for Simmons. Seattle has used George Fant as an extra offensive lineman for significant snaps throughout the season and his ability to play tackle could allow some shuffling among the starters in the short-term until Fluker can return."Let's wait and see on that one. We'll wait and see how this goes," Carroll said. "Jordan, he needs likely to get some work done on his knee to get him back so he's out. There are some decisions that we're making. Let's see how the week goes."Seattle signed running back Bo Scarbrough off the Jacksonville practice squad to take Simmons' roster spot and that's partly due to depth concerns at running back. Seattle played last week without rookie first-round pick Rashaad Penny due to a knee injury and Carroll said there was enough wear on starter Chris Carson and backup Mike Davis that they needed the extra depth in case Penny isn't back this week."It's uncertain if he can get back. We don't know that," Carroll said. "He's really determined to try and make it back and Friday is the day he can try to go for it and show that he can run and go for it."Amid all the injury news, the Seahawks believe veteran linebacker K.J. Wright will be back after missing the past five games. Wright hasn't played since Week 10 after aggravating a knee problem that first popped up in the preseason and required surgery.Wright said when he returned in Week 8 against Detroit that he took on too much and that eventually led to a setback. When he returns this time, he said he's going to be smarter about his play count and ramp up toward being ready for a full load when the postseason arrives 鈥?assuming Seattle gets there."We're going to be smarter this time. We've got a good game plan going," Wright said. "Ease it in these last two games, make the playoffs and kick it off from there." The Philadelphia Eagles are finally starting to play like a defending Super Bowl champion.It took six games, but they sent a clear message to the rest of the NFL that they are going to make another run, if their game against the New York Giants on Thursday night was a sign of things to come.The Eagles (3-3) played fast http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/mitchell-schwartz-jersey , Carson Wentz spread the ball around and the defense 鈥?particularly the front four 鈥?made life miserable for Eli Manning and the Giants in a 34-13 win that enabled Philadelphia to avoid its first three-game losing streak since 2016."All season long we have been close, we just were not sustaining it," said tight end Zach Ertz, who caught one of Wentz's season-high three touchdown passes. "Hopefully this win sparks us for the rest of the year. Obviously, we are going to look at film and learn how we could be better even, but this is something that we hope we can build some momentum on."The 34 points were a season high for the Eagles, who beat the Giants for the fourth straight time."It's a big win for us," said Wentz, who threw for 278 yards and hit Alshon Jeffery on his other two TD tosses. "NFC East and the conference. It's huge. Being 3-3 is better than 2-4. This is more like who we are. We can build from this."The win put the Eagles into a first place tie with Washington (2-2) in the NFC East with Dallas (2-3) a half game back. The Giants (1-5) are fading fast."Obviously not where we want to be," said Manning, who was sacked four times and hit 13 other times. "I'm not happy about it. I am frustrated like everyone. Obviously, all you can do is worry about the next game."The pressure was the key for the Eagles. It allowed defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz to sit back with his linebackers and secondary and kept receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Sterling Shepard from making big plays for New York. They were invisible most of the game."We want to get after the passer every week," Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. "These games are battles. It all comes down to which team gets after the passer. We hit Eli and put him on the ground. That was big."So was winning.Five things were learned from the game:SAQUON BARKLEY: The Giants rookie halfback is carrying the team. The second pick in the draft ran for 130 yards on 13 carries http://www.kansascitychiefsteamonline.com/allen-bailey-jersey , scoring on a 50-yard run. He caught nine passes for 99, including a tackle-breaking 55-yarder that set up a field goal. That's 229 yards from scrimmage. He has gained at least 100 in all six games, one off the NFL rookie record set by Kansas City's Kareem Hunt last year."Saquon is a beast," said Eagles halfback Corey Clement, who scored on a 1-yard run. "It's hard not to say it. if I was saying anything otherwise, I'd be a hater."QUICK START HELPS: The Eagles got big contributions early. An interception by Kamu Grugier-Hill on the opening series set up Wentz's first touchdown to Jeffery. A 23-yard punt return by DeAndre Carter paved the way for Clement's score. Coming into the game, Philadelphia had scored seven points in the first quarter. They got 14 against New York.MORE ODELL CONTROVERSY: Beckham was frustrated. At one point, he head butted a cooling fan on the Giants' sideline. He also left the field one play before halftime with New York lining up for a Hail Mary. Coach Pat Shurmur said he was going to get an IV."I was just trying to get myself fired up," Beckham said.INJURIES: The Eagles' biggest concern has to be left tackle Jason Peters. He left the game with a biceps injury. Backup cornerback Sidney Jones left in the first half with a hamstring injury. The Giants had LB Ray Ray Amstrong (concussion), WR Cody Latimer (hamstring) and CB Antonio Hamilton (illness) leave the game.THE DIFFERENCE: Wentz had an idea what changed for the Eagles"I think more than anything we just stayed ahead of the chains," he said. "I think we didn't shoot ourselves in the foot. And really offensively and defensively we just fed off each other. I think that's something we do so well when we get that rolling and so tonight it was good to get it going."
Film review: Justin Houston and Dee Ford against the 49ers Stats — whether box score or advanced — can often align with the game flow and the impact they had on the game. Whether it’s receptions Womens Harrison Butker Jersey , yards per completion, or tackles recorded, the result of a given play is a great place to start evaluating the impact a player had on the game.These stats are important and worth monitoring.But the process by which a receiver comes into the reception, the depth and difficulty of a throw, or where a tackle is made are far more predictive than box-score stats — or even advanced stats.Evaluating the impact a player is having is far more complex than counting up sacks (or defined wins or losses) or having an opinion about how plays “looked.”To judge a player’s impact, you must consider numerous factors such as consistency, how the opposition plays them, how they are winning, and their ability to adapt to an opposing player.When you consider these kinds of factors against the backdrop of the basic stats, you get a better predictive analysis of what’s to come.This week down in the Arrowhead Pride Laboratory, we cued up the film on a pair of Kansas City Chiefs: edge rushers: Dee Ford and Justin Houston.On the surface, Houston had a better game than Ford against the San Francisco 49ers,showcasing his ability against the run and the pass, and getting credit for two sacks — even though one didn’t count because of a defensive holding penalty.Ford’s box score for the game, however, reads like the same speed-pass rusher that he’s always been. Even in advanced statistics, Houston graded out as elite for his game on Sunday, while Dee Ford graded out as good. So let’s go beyond this surface analysis, and consider how each player was able to accomplish what they did— rather than just what they accomplished. Down in the Lab, I looked at how the two were winning, how they weren’t winning, how the opposition played them, and what our expectations should be going forward.The EDGE rusher film reviewWho wins and whereJustin HoustonHouston still plays with incredible power and extremely sound technique, and is able to take advantage of any poor pass set. Even against good pass protectors, Houston still wins a half-man relation — that is, he can quickly and easily use his hands to get his his outside arm or shoulder free from the blocker so they can only contact half of his body.He uses a variety of moves to do this. His go-to move is a stab with his inside hand and then a variation of a club or swipe with his outside hand before ripping through with the inside hand. Against a rookie right tackle on Sunday, Houston was able to consistently get to that half-man relation and threaten the corner — and any time the right tackle didn’t get great depth and stay on balance, Houston was able to take it to him with ease.On this play, Houston gets to attack a soft corner thanks to the RT getting a late drive off the line and a shallow kick on his set. Houston is able to attack his outside shoulder by stabbing the inside shoulder to keep the RT off balance, swipe the outside arm, and use his inside arm to pull the RT forward — while also propelling himself forward towards the quarterback.This initial soft corner and fantastic hand usage by Houston led to a very quick sack — above the league average for the weekend — and he had a a few more similar wins. Houston was able to utilize this success on the outside rip and turn it into a successful counter to the inside on one snap, but that was the only variation to his pass rush that worked.Dee FordFord still relies on his freaky explosion and burst off the line of scrimmage to set up most of his rush moves — and when he gets the snap timed well he’s nearly impossible to block.Ford can even beat good pass sets with his speed off the line, and his new-found ability to sink his hips low to the ground and turn a tight corner. Ford has always had the speed rush, but he’s also come up with a very effective inside counter to punish offensive linemen who try and set deep to wait for his speed rush.He has also regained the ability to transition some of his speed into power like he did at Auburn.Similar to the Houston play we saw before, here Ford takes full advantage of a questionable pass set by the offensive tackle, who takes a short kick off his drive foot. The LT still tries to recover — and does so pretty well — forcing Ford to sink his hips to turn the corner tightly to bring home the sack. The play was won on Ford’s get-off, but the finish was his ability to transition from the speed rush upfield to the dip and corner once he had the edge. Ford’s best pass rush move this season hasn’t been his speed rush around the edge but rather his ability to transition to an inside counter once he threatens the arc. His subtle use of head fakes, good footwork, and more violent hands to keep his chest clean have made his inside moves deadly — and incredibly hard to defend. What’s left on the tableJustin HoustonIt’s easy to say Houston doesn’t have a dynamic speed rush or bend around the edge — which is fair — but it’s also never been a staple of his game. The biggest thing lacking in Houston’s game this season is his ability to finish a pass rush and turn a corner. He gets proper leverage in the right position regularly http://www.thechiefsfootballauthentic.com/cameron-erving-jersey-authentic , but lacks the burst and flexibility to finish turning the corner — without being driven deep — on a consistent basis. In a vacuum, this pass rush looks good. Houston gets the outside step, rips under the RT, and bends around the corner towards the QB, who gets rid of the ball just before Houston gets home. The problem is the wide arc Houston has to take, giving the QB too much time to get the ball out.Houston has no issues getting to edge of a blocker, but he’s struggled this season to finish the rush in a timely and space-efficient manner. This time, the RT has a better pass set without a ton of depth, and Houston clears his hands, leans in to turn, but carries the rush for an extra six yards before making the corner. This has been a consistent problem all season, but was very evident against the 49ers.Dee FordAs a pass rusher, Ford hasn’t shown a major weakness or lack of ability to do something. He’s never going to be a power rusher, but he can transfer his speed into power and then finish the rush after the initial contact. As shown here, there are times where an OT can set deep and be patient, forcing Ford to finesse his way to the half-man relation, rather than just power through — but that’s rather nitpicky, and it’s not a consistent theme.Here Ford does better.In fact, this snap shows both players improving on their general weaknesses.It’s not that they can’t do better.Both (more Houston than Ford) need to improve their consistency. How they’re playedJustin HoustonDespite some narratives still circling around Chiefs Kingdom, gone are the days that Houston must be double-teamed or chipped, or have the pass protection slide towards him. Bob Sutton’s defensive scheme — which moves him around and sometimes drop him into coverage — helps, as do Chris Jones and Ford.But in this game, the 49ers were content with rookie RT Mike McGlinchy blocking Houston one-on-one. On numerous occasions, the 49ers also had tight end George Kittle and fullback Kyle Juszcyk block Justin Houston by themselves — with some success.Plays like this are simply unacceptable for an edge rusher. I’d even go as far to say this is worse than being controlled by a tight end in the run game.Against the 49ers, Houston had nine pass rush snaps where he was left one-on-one against a skill player, and he pressured the QB just once on those snaps.The initial question is always how quickly the pass comes out.This is a seven-step drop from play action with three hops after the last foot is planted — that is, a long play. Not only was Houston unable to win on a lot of these plays, he very few vertical/deep sets by the RT — something that we have seen all season — and saw fewer chips and receivers lined up over him. For most of the game, Houston was the player on the defensive line guarded one-on-one.Dee FordAlready seen/mentioned was the false start by the OT and the help from the Offensive Guard but beyond that SF was sending RBs out on chips and motioning TEs and WRs over Ford all game long to slow down his speed rush to force him into the LT’s body. He sees a lot of vertical and deep pass sets as well as swing passes out to his side to help slow him down. He was enemy number one in the 49ers minds on passing downs.This is the lone snap vs a non-OL on a traditional drop back that Ford saw all game. There is a very specific reason for that as well; he was the biggest threat for the vast majority of the game. Resetting expectationsJustin HoustonHouston is no longer the consistent, must-defend force along the defensive front for the Kansas City Chiefs.During the offseason, there was talk that he looked a little sluggish last year because he working his way back from injury — even from Houston himself — but after three games we can see the answer: Houston is not as explosive as he once was. He’s still a good pass rusher, but not one that is a consistent threat to land home. He’s entered that savvy-veteran territory that routinely allows him to punish bad OT play and take advantage of bad pass sets, but expectations for him to dominate a game should be limited.At this point, we’re better off hoping Houston remains a great run defender — which he is — who provides one or two clutch fourth quarter pressures when the team needs it. Dee FordFord has become the clear-cut best pass rusher the Chiefs have.He wins consistently — and more quickly — in a wider variety of situations than anyone else on the roster, and opposing teams know it.Ford’s run defense is still a work in progress.It’s not likely it will ever be great, but if his health holds up and he maintains this level of production, it won’t matter. Ford is in a contract year, so it’s hard to separate that from his general improvement as player, but Ford is not the second fiddle any more.He’s the main attraction.Looking aheadIn the next few days Youth Xavier Williams Jersey , we should find out more about Ford’s injury — originally described as a groin strain — but we should keep our fingers crossed that it’s minor. Without Ford, the Chiefs pass rush will need a lot more creativity, and will have to lean more heavily on Houston, who just hasn’t shown the ability to shoulder that burden this year. Tanoh Kpassagnon and Breeland Speaks may have the ability to step in and contribute.If Ford is unable to go, they may have to. KANSAS CITY (11-3) at SEATTLE (8-6)Sunday, 8:20 p.m. EST, NBCOPENING LINE 鈥?Chiefs by 2 1/2RECORD VS. SPREAD 鈥?Kansas City 8-5-1, Seattle 8-4-2SERIES RECORD 鈥擟hiefs lead 33-18LAST MEETING 鈥?Chiefs beat Seahawks 24-20, Nov. 16, 2014LAST WEEK -- Chiefs lost to Chargers 29-28; Seahawks lost to 49ers 26-23, OTAP PRO32 RANKING 鈥?Chiefs No. 3, Seahawks No. 10CHIEFS OFFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (1), RUSH (16), PASS (2).CHIEFS DEFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (31), RUSH (26), PASS (32).SEAHAWKS OFFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (19), RUSH (1), PASS (27).SEAHAWKS DEFENSE 鈥?OVERALL (19), RUSH (15), PASS (20).STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES 鈥?Chiefs can clinch AFC West and bye with win and Chargers loss. Can clinch AFC home-field advantage with win and losses by Chargers and Texans. ... Seahawks can clinch wild-card berth with victory and loss by either Washington or Minnesota. ... Chiefs lead NFL in points per game (35.6), yards per play (6.78) and yards per game (427.3). ... Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes leads NFL with 45 TD passes, tied for third most in league history through 15 games and sixth most in any NFL season. Mahomes' 4,543 yards passing lead NFL. ... RB Damien Williams had career-high 123 yards from scrimmage last week and scored two rushing TDs for second straight week with two total touchdowns. ... WR Tyreek Hill has set career highs in receptions (78), yards (1,304) and TD catches (11). He has 10 TDs in past eight road games. Hill has 20 catches of 25 or more yards. ... Travis Kelce leads TEs in yards receiving (1,220) and second in catches among TEs with 93. ... Chiefs rank last in NFL in pass defense, giving up 282.5 yards per game. ... DL Chris Jones had 2 陆 sacks last week and has at least one sack in 10 straight games, NFL record. Jones has 14 for season. ... LB Justin Houston has 3 陆 sacks, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries in past four games. ... DB Steven Nelson leads team with four interceptions. ... S Eric Berry had six tackles in season debut last week. Berry played 30 of 74 defensive snaps. ... QB Russell Wilson has 13 TD passes and two INTs in six home games this season. Wilson passed for career-low 72 yards in last home game vs. Vikings. Wilson has 31 TDs and six INTs on season. ... Wilson needs one win to become first QB with winning record in each of first seven seasons. ... Seahawks lead NFL averaging 154.9 yards per game rushing. Only team in league with more than 2,000 yards rushing. ... RBs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis are only trio of teammates in NFL each with 400 yards rushing for season. ... Carson rushed for career-high 119 yards last week, needs 87 yards rushing to become Seahawks' first 1,000-yard rusher since Marshawn Lynch in 2014. ... WR Tyler Lockett needs one reception to set career high with 52. ... DE Frank Clark with sack in each of past two games. He has career-high 12 for season. ... DT Jarran Reed had two sacks in Week 15, second multi-sack game in career. He has 8 1/2 for the season. ... LB Bobby Wagner voted to fifth Pro Bowl, leads team with 114 tackles and 11 passes defensed. ... Status of S Bradley McDougald uncertain due to knee injury. McDougald tied for team lead with three interceptions. ... Seahawks second in NFL with plus-12 turnover differential. ... Rookie P Michael Dickson leads NFL in punting average (48.9) and net average (44.2). ... Fantasy tip: Seattle's pass defense has been shaky in recent weeks and may not have McDougald. Mahomes, Hill and Kelce would all be no-brainers to start this week.
Frank Reich has the inside track on Philadelphia.He coached the quarterbacks Cheap Quincy Wilson Jersey , helped construct one of the league's most innovative offenses and worked closely with defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz before leaving for Indianapolis in February.On Sunday, the Colts are hoping Reich's knowledge could give them a leg up on the defending Super Bowl champs this weekend."Nothing too dramatic, a few things here and there," Reich said when asked about this week's conversations with defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus."Not anything that would be over the top. My experience is if you say too much it just confuses the matter. So you give a few personnel things, a few philosophical things, maybe one or two things to look for and then you let our defense play the way we've been playing."Of course, Reich downplays the significance of this weekend's reunion. Most coaches do.But Reich's third game as a head coach will understandably be a big deal.It was in Philly where Reich went from rising assistant to head coaching candidate after spending two seasons with coach Doug Pederson and quarterback Carson Wentz, who is expected to make his season debut Sunday.It was in Philly where Reich finally put his fingers on the Super Bowl ring that eluded him so many other places.It was in Philly where Reich turned down interviews so he could focus solely on winning playoff games with Nick Foles following Wentz's season-ending knee injury.And it was in Philly where he finally got the Colts' phone call after Josh McDaniels reneged on a commitment to take over as head coach.Neither Reich nor his players see much point in making this game bigger than it needs to be."I didn't even think about that (Reich's return)," quarterback Andrew Luck said Wednesday. "I don't think anyone in this locker room needs extra motivation to win a game for him. I mean I think our guys are hungry to play. Yeah, that would be special, that would be special, that would be cool."Reich already has given the Colts (1-1) a fresh perspective.They are off to their best start since 2013 and Luck has looked like his old self in an offense that, not so surprisingly http://www.coltscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-ryan-grant-jersey , resembles the Eagles' plan.Four-time Pro Bowl receiver T.Y. Hilton is off to the best start of his career as he lines up in multiple spots. Running backs Marlon Mack and Jordan Wilkins delivered a one-two punch last week that was reminiscent of Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. Nyheim Hines possesses natural versatility, like Darren Sproles, and the Colts' tight ends are being asked to do more, too.Eberflus, who faced the Eagles twice a year while coaching previously in Dallas, has the Colts defense clicking, too.Rookie linebacker Darius Leonard was selected as the AFC's defensive player of the week Wednesday after getting 18 tackles in last weekend's 21-9 victory at Washington.Eberflus can always seek additional advice from linebacker Najee Goode, a free-agent signee who played with the Eagles last season.The Eagles know all about the potential pitfalls in facing their former offensive coordinator and are planning accordingly."He (Reich) knows, obviously, our structure offensively, what we try to do, how we attack things and maybe even some of the terminology and verbiage. So, we have to be careful there Rigoberto Sanchez Jersey ," Pederson said on a conference call with Colts' reporters."At the same time, we can't change everything. There is some similarity, but at the same time we're aware of it. We are looking forward to seeing him again on Sunday and welcoming him back to Philadelphia."Even if the reception is less than warm — as Eagles' fans tend to make it.But Reich returns with fond memories of the city, organization and staff that welcomed him with open arms and nothing but gratitude for the opportunity he got. All he wants to do now is win."It (leaving Philadelphia) was bittersweet in that it was such a great experience there, such a good relationship with everyone there," Reich said."But there's only 32 of these things and if it's a goal and it's an aspiration, you have to seize the moment."Notes: Indy has signed running back Jeremy McNichols to the practice squad, released quarterback Phillip Walker from the practice squad and waived running back Josh Ferguson from the injured reserve list. ... Team owner Jim Irsay and his family have donated $100,000 to the Wheeler Mission to help the local charity expand the Center for Women & Children, which provides emergency shelter and long-term programs for homeless women and women with children.Roster Moves: Colts place WR Deon Cain on IR; sign WR Matt Hazel and RB Branden Oliver Chris Ballard and the Indianapolis Colts are busy making roster moves on Sunday afternoon.The Colts have agreed to deals with wide receiver Matt Hazel and running back Branden Oliver. With the signings, Indy also waived wide receiver Dres Anderson and placed highly-touted wide receiver Deon Cain on Injured Reserve. The addition of another wide receiver was expected after the team announced Cain tore his Anterior Collateral Ligament in the Colts’ preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks. Hazel, 26, saw time on Indy’s active roster and practice squad last season. Before that Al Woods Jersey , he spent time on the Cleveland Browns’ practice squad in 2017. Hazel has one career reception for one yard. Hazel has appeared in nine games, starting one for the Browns in 2017. In his previous stint with the Colts, he played in four games. Hazel has also seen time with the Washington Redskins and Miami Dolphins. With Marlon Mack dealing with a hamstring injury, and Robert Turbin dealing with an ankle issue and a suspension, Indy adds running back depth with Oliver in the backfield. Oliver, 27, saw playing time in 30 career games over the last four seasons (2014-17) with the Los Angeles Chargers, starting eight games and amassing 773 yards on 226 carries (3.4 yards an attempt). The Colts adding Oliver makes sense in a lot of ways. For one, Oliver played for Colts head coach Frank Reich when he was a part of the Chargers coaching staff from 2014-2016. Oliver was mentioned as a possibility to join the Colts in our free agent prospects piece yesterday.
This was finally the game Bears’ fans have wanted to see from the team http://www.bearscheapstores.com/danny-trevathan-jersey-cheap , particularly the offense, all year. Not only was there another dominating performance by the defense, but Mitch Trubisky had his first explosive arrival on the scene since the Bears drafted him a year ago.While the Tampa Bay defense has been generous to opposing QBs, it’s still nice to see Trubisky exploit that. An average or bad QB would struggle to do as well as Trubisky did on Sunday.The defense was its usual bad self: Forcing fumbles, picking off passes and just generally being disruptive and aggressive until they called off the dogs and allowed a garbage time TD.There was a lot of good this week, so it might be tough to find three players for the ‘stock down’ portion of this article, but there are things to be done! I would say then, take any criticism through the lens of a 38-point victory rather than strong criticism of a bad player.And for clarity’s sake: Khalil Mack is not on the list because I am trying to highlight improved and struggling players, but Mack’s stock cannot go higher right now. He is simply the best player on the field whenever he is on it. Pretty simple there.Stock upMitchell Trubisky, QB - How could a record setting performance, especially after the struggles and lumps of the first three games, go unnoticed? This was the breakout performance and hopefully the sign of what’s to come. Granted, we know he can’t throw five first half TDs every single week, but this is hopefully the confidence boost he needed to turn the corner. Take advantage of a weak opponent and use it to get your head right and hopefully the game is beginning to slow down for him. Very promising.Eddie Jackson, S - For the second week in a row Jackson found himself in a position to make a play on the ball. On his interception he broke from about six yards back of Mike Evans, just as Ryan Fitzpatrick cocked to throw, and closed for the pick. Jackson has rarely been out of position. In fact, since a couple of missed tackles in the first couple of games http://www.bearscheapstores.com/kyle-fuller-jersey-cheap , he’s really been mistake free. He’s a great playmaker in the secondary.Taylor Gabriel, WR - I realize that this isn’t so much as a change Gabriel has made, as I think he’s been open a lot through the first three games, this is more on Trubisky actually delivering throws. However, I still thought Gabriel warranted a shout out. He had a career high in yards (104), receptions (7) and matched a career high in touchdowns in a game (2). He previous highs in yards and catches came as a rookie when he was on the Browns back in 2014. Gabriel adds a different dimension to this offense and I think he’s looking to prove he’s more than a speed threat.Honorable mentions: Kyle Fuller, Cohen, Aaron LynchStock downJordan Howard, RB - I am not worried about Howard, yet. I think this week is more of an indictment of the game plan (Nagy seemed to see something in Tampa’s D that favored the match up Tarik Cohen gave them) and the fact that the one thing Tampa’s defense actually does well is stop opposing running backs. Howard will get going, but this wasn’t his strongest outing.More to consider on that from Lorin Cox:Kevin White, WR - This isn’t exactly a surprise, but at the same time, with Anthony Miller down, it was surprising to see that White earned an increase in snaps but no targets. He played well when he did, throwing a block on a screen, but he’s still a non-factor in the passing game. Kevin Toliver, CB - Toliver was put in a tough spot and he didn’t do terribly. He was always going to be targeted a ton with Prince Amukamara out and Kyle Fuller locking down Mike Evans most of the day. He was on DeSean Jackson on his 47 yard catch Cheap Leonard Floyd Jersey , and was also targeted on Evans’ 13-yard twisting grab. He had some tough assignments, and the damage could have been much worse, but someone had to be here.Who did I miss? Who made your list; good and bad? There’s no question that Khalil Mack’s injured ankle limited his effectiveness last Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. He tweaked it early and he simply wasn’t the same stylin’ and profilin’, Mack-attacking, quarterback sacking, football stripping, tight end chipping, wheelin’ n’ dealin’ son of a gun that we’re accustomed to seeing. Multiple reports have him playing this Sunday against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but he’s officially listed as questionable. Mack was limited in practice today, as was wide out Allen Robinson II, who is also listed as questionable with groin injury.Nickleback Bryce Callahan is also listed as questionable, but he was held out of Friday’s practice with an ankle injury that he suffered yesterday. There was only one other Chicago Bears player on the injury report, and cornerback Marcus Cooper (hamstring) is listed as doubtful. Offensive guard Eric Kush (neck) and cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring) were both full participants at practice today, and neither appeared on the injury report. If Callahan and Cooper can’t go, we may see some Sherrick McManis on defense this week. Patriots’ starting right tackle Marcus Cannon hasn’t practiced all week with a concussion, and he will not play on Sunday. The Pats list 10 players as questionable and they are as follows. Julian Edelman WR HeelJosh Gordon WR HamstringRob Gronkowski TE Ankle/BackJacob Hollister TE HamstringSony Michel RB KneeEric Rowe DB GroinJohn Simon DE ShoulderDeatrich Wise Jr. DL Ankle / KneeGeneo Grissom DL AnkleMalcom Brown DL KneeKnowing the Patriots, all those guys questionable guys are going to play.