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After losing starting safety Johnathan Cyprien to a season-ending ACL tear on Wednesday Cheap Austin Johnson Jersey , the Titans are going to add a veteran safety to the roster. Luckily for the team, there are a bunch of good options out there at this position and they may even be able to add a player that offers little to no drop off from where they were two days ago. So let’s take a look at some of those options.Trade for Seahawks star Earl ThomasLet’s get this one out of the way up top. I don’t think this is going to happen and fans probably shouldn’t get their hopes up. Yes, Earl Thomas is a phenomenal safety. In fact, he’s among the top handful to play the position in the last decade. However, he’s also going to come with a high price both in draft pick compensation for the Seahawks and a top-of-the-market extension to carry him beyond the 2018 season. As I’ve broken down before, the Titans are approaching a period where they are going to be tight against the salary cap. They’ve already extended Taylor Lewan and made him the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL. They also added on two more years to Delanie Walker’s deal which is near the top of the tight end market. Next offseason they will likely be working on top-of-the-market extensions for Kevin Byard and Marcus Mariota. That leaves no room for yet another expensive deal, especially at safety where they will soon be paying Byard like the star he is. You can’t build a team around a $30 million dollar a year safety tandem. It’s just not feasible.Not only that, but despite the contract stalemate, Seattle isn’t just going to let him walk for cheap. Seattle reportedly wanted the Cowboys 2018 1st round pick in exchange for Thomas before the draft. Even if they back that off to a 2nd round pick, that’s a pretty high price for a 29-year old safety who you then have to give a long term extension to. Not only does that make your secondary incredibly expensive, but it also removes a 2nd round pick which should turn in to a cheap, above average starter for the next four years when the Titans are desperately going to need cheap, above average starters. As a Texas alum, I have a deep love for ET, but I think there is virtually zero chance that the Titans go trade for him as a Cyprien replacement. Sign Eric ReidReid is a former Pro Bowl safety who has been a full-time starter in San Francisco for all fiveseasons of his career since being drafted in the first round of the 2013 draft. Out of all the available options, he may be the most similar to Cyprien. At 6’-1” and 213 pounds, he is a physical presence who is most comfortable near the line of scrimmage. In 2017, the 49ers actually moved Reid to weakside linebacker midway through the year to make way for their promising young safety Jaquiski Tartt to move in to the starting lineup. Over the course of his career, Reid has earned PFF grades of 69.6 , 64.2, 66.8, 58.1, and 70.3 with his best year coming in 2017. He has started 69 of a possible 80 games and accumulated 264 tackles, 10 interceptions, and 36 pass break ups.Reid is a tremendous athlete as evidenced by his excellent combine testing numbers.He’s known to be a strong tackler and one of the NFL’s biggest hitters. Really, he’s like a younger, more athletic version of Cyprien. If you’re looking for the best like-for-like replacement, this is your guy. Of course, there is some non-football distraction element with Reid to some extent due to his participation in the protests against police violence with his friend Colin Kaepernick, but if the NFL does it’s job and comes up with a fair and agreeable anthem policy — I know, that’s a HUGE if — I don’t think a significant backlash from the fan base would be likely.
I think Reid is probably the best of the bunch talent-wise and he fits the role that was intended for Cyprien. Sign Kenny VaccaroThe other safety that is inexplicably without a team right now is another former first round pick in Kenny Vaccaro. Selected three spots ahead of Reid in the 2013 draft, Vaccaro has spent his five year NFL career with the Saints, racking up 67 starts, 283 tackles, 8 interceptions, and 29 passes broken up. The strength of his game is versatility. He is capable of playing all over the field as the Saints used him as a deep safety, box safety, and as a big nickel playing over slot receivers. His best use has been in the box though and that is the role he would primarily play in Tennessee since the Titans already boast outstanding players at free safety and slot corner.Vaccaro’s PFF grades over his five year career are not great: 66.7 Cheap Kamalei Correa Jersey , 48.9, 65.8, 65.0, and 50.3, with his coverage grades generally pulling down high run defense and tackling grades. It’s hard to say how much of those grades were the result of the Saints asking Vaccaro to do too much as part of what has mainly been a poor defense during his time there and how much is due to him just not playing that well. Either way the grades leave some questions with Vaccaro. Sign Lardarius WebbWhile Reid and Vaccaro are primarily thumpers who would fit well in the role Cyprien was set to play for this team, Webb is a very different type of safety. The 32 year old started his NFL career as a corner before converting to safety in 2015. At 5’-10” and 179 pounds, no one is going to mistake him for these other players at the mini-tryout tomorrow. He was a backup role player for the 2017 season in Baltimore as starters Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson ate up most of the snaps at safety. However, his familiarity with Pees’ defense could give him a leg up. I kind of figured that Webb might get a call from the Titans earlier in free agency for that reason and with Kendrick Lewis banged up with another mystery injury, its possible that the team goes ahead and signs two of these players on Friday to bolster depth. I’m not sure that Webb is a clear starter on the current roster. Sign Mike MitchellMitchell is another veteran option that the Titans are reportedly bringing in. Most recently with the Steelers, Mitchell has been a free safety who plays more like a strong safety for years now. At 6’-1” and 216 pounds he’s a physical hitter, but last year he really started to look a step slow and missed too many tackles, leading to him being released in a cap clearing move for the Steelers earlier this offseason.Allowing Mitchell to spend more time near the line of scrimmage could help his game, but the Titans should be able to get a read on how well he’s moving around during the workout. So who should the Titans sign? I’d lean Reid personally, but I think Vaccaro is a very close second. I wouldn’t mind going ahead and adding Webb while they’re at it for added depth and experience in Pees’ system.Titans make a series of roster moves The made quite a few roster moves today. They waived Phillip Supernaw. They placed Nate Palmer on IR. To replace those guys on the roster, they signed TE Jerome Cunningham and LB Brandon Chubb.The Supernaw thing was inevitable. This team is not going to employ more than three tight ends, and it is pretty clear that those three are Delanie Walker, Jonnu Smith and Luck Stocker. I must have missed where Nate Palmer got hurt. He’s a guy that has been with the Titans for the past couple of years and contributed on special teams more than anything else.Cunnigham has been with the Titans off and on for the past two years. It’s hard to see him having much of a shot to end up with the team when the regular season starts.Chubb is another guy that is a long shot to make the roster. He has bounced around between the Lions, Giants and Rams during his time in the league.

There’s been a ton of content relating to the Week 1 match-up with the Atlanta Falcons here on Bleeding Green Nation , and we’ve got one more preview podcast to break down all the nerdy details.The Kist & Solak Show previews aim to give you the most in-depth analysis in the game. We break down film, dig into the analytics, analyze group/individual match-ups and so much more to get you prepared for the season opener.We had some major questions about the game and tried to spell out their impact:Is the impact of the Eagles’ injuries/suspensions being understated?What does the light wide receiver group do to the Eagles personnel deployment?Is Steve Sarkisian holding back the Falcons in the red zone and does Jim Schwartz have his number?In what areas did the Falcons defense lack and are they primed for a big step up?How will the Eagles attack the Falcons young, fast front seven?
There’s so much more that we unpacked in this episode, so don’t miss out and stream it on the player below or click here if the player doesn’t load.We appreciate the support , the 5 star ratings, and the glowing reviews so much, fly Eagles fly! Cold weather did nothing to stop these two players from getting hot this weekend of college football. Beau Benzschawel and Markus Bailey made an imprint on the draft community (and a few opposing players) with strong performances.Wisconsin blocker Beau Benzschawel plowed through snow and Illini defenders all afternoon on Saturday. The senior guard paved the way for Wisconsin’s signature run game and was also stalwart in less protection. In a crowded offensive line class, Benzschawel will need more performances like this to standout. Especially since he’s got some NFL caliber contemporaries next to him on the Badger Line.In the weekend’s biggest upset comes its most impressive performance. Redshirt sophomore linebacker Markus Bailey helped Purdue drag Ohio State behind the woodshed. Bailey, according to Pro Football Focus Philadelphia Eagles T-Shirt , played over ONE HUNDRED defensive snaps and was a disruptive force all night. Not only was he a force getting after the passer, he made plays in coverage including a pivotal pick six. It’s hard to find a better stat sheet than Bailey posted against the Buckeyes and more games like that will have the versatile defender thinking NFL early.

With losses last week by the Colts Womens Benardrick McKinney Jersey , Jaguars, and Titans, the pressure was on Houston to deliver on Sunday Night Football and put themselves right back in the thick of the playoff chase in the AFC South.It wasn’t pretty, but the Texans got it done and at 2-3 are just one game off the pace of the 3-2 Titans and Jaguars.This week’s contest against the Bills, on paper, seems like the perfect opportunity for Houston to square its record, but let’s not forget how the Bills managed to slap the Minnesota Vikings around in Minneapolis just a couple of weeks ago.Bills rookie QB Josh Allen has been nothing short of horrific when under pressure this season, and you know the Texans will be relentlessly bringing the heat.Let’s see how the Battle Red Blog Staff sees Sunday’s contest playing out...Tim:Texans 24, Bills 17.Diehard Chris:Texans 30, Bills 10.BFmf’nD:Texans 23 Youth Ka'imi Fairbairn Jersey , Bills 3.Titan Matt Weston, Slanderer of Blade Runner and a Huge Fan of the Texas Rangers:Texans 23, Bills 6.Mike Bullock:Texans 19, Bills 16.Capt. Ron:Texans 20, Bills 9.Jeremy Brener:Bills 17, Texans 16.Feel free to share your predictions in the comments below, and enjoy your football weekend! The AFC South is a cruel and bizarre mistress. Teams that should be winning by a clear margin are stagnating.Those who should be stagnating are seemingly managing to subsist to a degree in which they can achieve a lofty standing atop the division. To think we are only a season removed from the days in which the AFC South was the NFL’s trashcan to a day in which three teams are looking to ascend to what was hoped to be a strong division.
Fun times.The Texans have recovered from a 0-3 start to claw their way back to 3-3.The Jaguars started strongly with two wins that included a pasting of the New England Patriots in Foxborough. Blake Bortles, however, imploded and Leonard Fournette has not played for a few weeks, so Jacksonville’s offense is about as effective as the ocean is for quenching a thirst. No one knows how today’s game will go.This your first of four open threads that will be spread out over the contest.Feel free to react and comment as you see fit to the action in the space below.NOTE: Please do not post any images , videos, GIFs, or non-text comments in any of BRB’s live game threads. They tend to slow the thread down and can take a long time to load. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.NOTE II: Due to the fast-paced nature of these threads, there will be no warnings before bans on game day. If a moderator deems a comment or user to be problematic, he or she will remove that person from the discussion for the good of the collective game day experience. If you’re on the wrong side of the law today and want your posting privileges reinstated, please send an e-mail to one of us tomorrow.NOTE III: Please refrain from any reference to or mention of any religion or religious figure, even if you believe it’s celebratory or inoffensive. If you make such a reference or comment, it will be deleted and you will be warned. Two violations of this rule will result in a ban

The Pittsburgh Steelers are heading into Week 8 Black Artie Burns Jersey , and have finally reached the halfway point of the 2018 regular season. Take a look at the rundown for the latest episode of the BTSC flagship podcast The Standard is the Standard. On this show Jeff Hartman and Lance Williams break down all things Steelers, including a fun game of “True or False!”Check out the rundown of the show:News and NotesRecapping the week that wasBrowns week, True or False!Predicting Steelers vs. BrownsWeek 8 AFC North game predictionsand MUCH MORE!Jeff Hartman, editor of BTSC, and Lance Williams walk you through everything you need to know regarding the Black-and-gold.If you haven’t heard, we have a YouTube channel Black Joe Haden Jersey , 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.
1st Quarter In-Game Update2nd Quarter In-Game UpdateTo start the third quarter, Pittsburgh knew this drive could truly define how the game will end up. What resulted was a 15 play, 75-yard drive which ended in a Ben Roethlisberger one-yard quarterback sneak for the touchdown. The drive displayed the Steelers’ third down dominance, and took up nearly half of the third quarter. However, Chris Boswell pushed the point-after wide right Youth Ben Roethlisberger Jersey , making the score 20-6.With the game in the balance, the Ravens responded with an impressive drive of their own. Joe Flacco made plays to Willie Snead for multiple first downs, but it was a defensive pass interference call on Morgan Burnett which set up the Baltimore offense on the one-yard line. Alex Collins then punched in the next play to make the score 20-13 in the waning minutes of the third quarter.After a Pittsburgh three-and-out, the Ravens have the ball to start the fourth quarter.

 Tye Smith was placed on IR after apparently suffering an injury in practice at some point. I completely missed that one. Smith is a solid back-up guy who played well in his chances last season. This is a blow to a position where the Titans have some pretty good depth. They also waived (with injury) Claude Pelon who they had signed last week.The Titans added DL Johnny Maxey who spent time on the Titans practice squad in 2017. They also added DL Du’Vonta Lampkin who has a fantastic name. Lampkin played at Oklahoma and declared for the NFL Draft after his red-shirt sophomore year probably because of academic issues. He went undrafted and was signed by the Baltimore Ravens. They waived him after mini-camp.So this is a 2 for 2 swap Youth Jonnu Smith Jersey , meaning the Titans lost 2 from the 90-man roster and added 2. By my count the Titans are still at 88 players currently in camp.Titans Training Camp Day 2 Notes With the Taylor Lewan contract extension finished, the Titans took to the field at Saint Thomas Sports Park this morning for the second practice of training camp. Here are my notes along with the three stars of practice:3rd Star: Taylor LewanIt’s hard for offensive linemen to stand out in training camp, especially before the pads come on, but Lewan is such a physical presence on the field that its hard to miss him. After signing his big extension this morning he came on to the field and dominated in practice, helping the offense to a much better day. He followed that up by appearing at the post-practice press conference dressed as Boss Hogg. It’s hard to have a better day than that.2nd Star: Jayon BrownJayon Brown continues to flash. Again, today was no pads, but Brown is among the most noticeable defenders, flying all over the field. He had one of the best defensive plays of the game when he stepped in front of a Mariota pass and got the interception. Despite all the moving parts at inside linebacker — more on that in a minute — Brown appears to have a role locked down. He was outstanding today.1st Star: Corey DavisTHE star of the day was clearly Corey Davis though. I counted at least 4 touchdowns combined between 7-on-7’s and full team periods. He got behind Adoree Jackson on a deep post and made the grab for what would have been a long touchdown. He also beat Malcolm Butler a couple times for touchdowns, including one acrobatic catch where he fought back across Butler to make a leaping catch in the end zone. Butler vs. Davis is quickly turning in to one of the best matchups of Titans camp with Butler winning day one and Davis taking day two. These guys look extremely competitive and should make each other better over the next several weeks. Davis looked like a true superstar today.Offense NotesOverall, this was a much better day for the offense. The passing game, in particular, was much better with Taywan Taylor and Delanie Walker also adding long touchdowns in team periods in addition to Corey Davis’ highlight grabs. Marcus Mariota looked sharper today. What is really standing out with Mariota through two practices is his accuracy down the field. Last season, he had a bunch of near misses when looking for the deep ball. The last couple days he’s been lethal over the top with several perfectly placed balls.It was a rough day for Darius Jennings who dropped a couple easy throws.Nick Williams got some reps as the first team slot wide receiver today after Michael Campanaro got most of them on day one. Williams is a very sudden route runner, but he also had a bad drop on an accurate ball.Akrum Wadley had a couple nice moments in practice. He is extremely quick and a strong route runner out of the backfield. I think he’s going to have a real chance to stick on the roster.David Fluellen had a bad moment when Tye Smith punched the ball out for a fumble during a team period. Among the UDFA receivers Navy Kamalei Correa Jersey , Jordan Veasy and Deontay Burnett really stand out. Veasy is huge and thick and he uses that big body well to shield off defenders and give the quarterbacks a big target. Burnett is a smooth route runner with great hands. I thought both looked pretty good today and am interested to see these guys work in preseason.Blaine Gabbert has an absolute cannon of an arm. Watching him throw the ball, you can absolutely see why teams fell in love with him during the 2011 draft process. He had a nice day today, throwing some accurate balls over the middle. There is no battle for QB2.Schematically, the Titans showed a lot of classic Shanahan concepts. I saw some 4-outs, yankee concepts, and pivot routes today. One thing that stands out compared to the last offense is just how many route combos result in receivers catching the ball moving in to space. One continuation from Thursday’s practice was the usage of Corey Davis in the slot. He lined up there quite a bit today and did some really good work there. In fact, Davis was in the slot far more than Taywan Taylor, who stayed outside most of the day again today.I mentioned Jonnu Smith yesterday and his increased role, and I also think that Luke Stocker appears to be in line for some snaps on offense in heavy sets. I watched the offensive line during some individual drills and the focus is certainly on outside zone techniques, as expected. Offensive line coach Keith Carter has been impressive to me. He is very clear about what he’s looking for in each drill and how it applies to the field. Defense NotesThe biggest news of the day on defense was a possible injury to Brian Orakpo. He went to the ground as the result of a hard Luke Stocker slice block during a team period and came off. After talking to some trainers for a minute he slammed his helmet down and ran to the locker room. No official word on what the injury was, but I’ve seen speculation that it was his shoulder. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. He didn’t look to be in too much pain when he ran off. Harold Landry stepped in to the first team defense when Orakpo went down. He got matched up with Taylor Lewan and the $80 million dollar man taught the rook a thing or two. Landry had a good day from what I saw in run defense, doing a nice job setting the edge and squeezing the back side on zone runs away from him. Landry got faked out by a Mariota pump fake on a bootleg to his side. The quarterback pumped and then darted inside and ended up in the end zone.Rashaan Evans also got some work with the first team today. He and Will Compton rotated at the spot next to Wesley Woodyard as that appears to be a contested position. Jayon Brown received some praise from Vrabel after practice, with his coach saying that “he’s really starting to play with some good instincts”. He flies all over the field.Wesley Woodyard’s good play from last season continues as he is frequently seen shooting gaps in to the backfield to get to backs. He’s playing at a really high level right now.Inside linebacker Nick DeLuca has been moved to the offensive side of the ball, as he’s going to be working with the tight ends moving forward. The inside linebacker group is far too deep Youth Rashaan Evans Jersey , and Vrabel said that he thinks DeLuca will have a better chance to help the team at tight end.Right now, the primary 2nd team safeties are Kendrick Lewis and Demontre Hurst, with Dane Cruikshank rotating in after that. Matt Dickerson, a UDFA defensive end from UCLA, flashed a little bit to me. He worked up with the 2nd team defensive line today and is very quick for his size at 6’-5” and 292 pounds. Odds and EndsBen Jones, Derrick Henry, Kevin Byard, and Corey Davis received offseason awards. Vrabel said that they got “a bunch of stuff, good stuff, whatever we can give them legally through the CBA, we gave’em”. He said the work those guys put in was above and beyond all offseason. After a pass interference penalty during 1-on-1’s the defensive backs had to do some up-downs. Mike Vrabel was with this group at the time and did the up-downs with the DBs. I thought that was pretty cool and now I think he’s the next Bill Belichick (kidding). We had a fake field goal sighting today!FIRE UP THE COREY DAVIS HYPE TRAIN!

OFFENSEThe Eagles are going to win a lot when Carson Wentz and the entire offensive line plays the entire game. Good to see Jason Peters making it through his first full game this season after he had to leave early in Week 1 and Week 2. Peters was a force out on the edge.With the Eagles being so depleted at the skill positions Womens Brandon Graham Jersey , Zach Ertz and Nelson Agholor basically had to play the entire game.Great to see Dallas Goedert much more involved here after he only logged 22% of the snaps in Week 2. The rookie tight end caught all seven of his targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. With the Eagles being so depleted at the skill positions, it’s a no brainer to throw his way.Corey Clement took the most snaps of any Eagles running back. He had 19 combined touches (16 carries and three receptions) while Wendell Smallwood had 13 combined touches (10 carries and three receptions). These two guys combined for 112 rushing yards, 54 receiving yards, and one rushing touchdown. Josh Adams only played eight snaps but he made the most of them by taking six carries for 30 yards. That’s a nice NFL debut for the undrafted rookie. Kamar Aiken outsnapped Jordan Matthews but failed to register a target. I wouldn’t just assume it’ll be Aiken who goes to the bench if/when Alshon Jeffery comes back this week. It could be Jeffery and Aiken on the outside with Agholor in the slot. JMatt could still get some playing time but I don’t think Aiken is just going to the bench, although he probably should. It’ll be much better when the Eagles offense is at a point when they don’t have to play Joshua Perkins for 38% of the snaps.It’s really disappointing to see that Shelton Gibson can only get one measly snap while the Eagles are missing three of their top four wide receivers. Not to mention that Philadelphia’s offense needs a field-stretcher and Gibson has the speed to do that. We saw as much in the preseason. For whatever reason, the coaching staff just doesn’t trust him. DEFENSEMalcolm Jenkins Youth Nick Foles Jersey , Jordan Hicks, and Ronald Darby played the entire game. Hicks continues to be the Eagles’ dime linebacker. He finished the day with a team-high eight tackles and two passes defensed. Jalen Mills would’ve played the entire game if he didn’t have to come out for a little bit to get checked up on after breaking up a pass. Rasul Douglas briefly filled in for him.Last year, the Eagles made an effort to conserve Fletcher Cox by limiting his playing time to some extent. Hasn’t been the case this year with the Eagles being thinner at defensive tackle.Corey Graham had to play a lot more than usual with Rodney McLeod leaving the game early due to a knee injury. McLeod indicated he’s going to be OK but we’ll see. Nigel Bradham had to leave the game at one point because he had the wind knocked out of him after colliding with Jenkins. Brandon Graham received the fifth most snaps of any defensive lineman. He played the most snaps of any Eagles defensive end in 2017. A reminder that the Eagles’ weakside linebacker spot isn’t incredibly important: Kamu Grugier-Hill played nine defensive snaps on Sunday. The Eagles don’t really trust undrafted rookie free agent Bruce Hector to play much. The defensive tackle options behind Cox just aren’t very inspiring, which is why we see Michael Bennett get a lot of interior work. SPECIAL TEAMSAvonte Maddox is tied with Grugier-Hill for the Eagles’ lead in special teams tackle with two. D.J. Alexander got flagged for running into the Colts’ punter. Thankfully it didn’t end up costing the Eagles a third down stop.Nathan Gerry didn’t see a single defensive snap for the first time this season.DID NOT PLAYInactive: Jay Ajayi, Darren Sproles, Alshon Jeffery , Nate Sudfeld, Chance Warmack, Jordan Mailata, Matt PryorActive but did not play: Nick Foles, Josh SweatEagles down to just three healthy wide receivers after waiving DeAndre Carter The Philadelphia Eagles waived DeAndre Carter in order to make room for Josh Adams on the 53-man roster, according to an official announcement from the team on Tuesday afternoon. Carter’s absence means the Eagles are currently down to just THREE healthy wide receivers for Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts: Nelson Agholor Cheap Cameron Johnston Jersey , Kamar Aiken, and Shelton Gibson.Yikes.Alshon Jeffery returned to practice last week, which was a positive sign, but it seems like he’s not going to be ready for the Colts game. To this point, he still hasn’t participated in 11-on-11, and Doug Pederson said he’s still “week-to-week” which is worse than “day-to-day.” Mike Wallace certainly won’t be able to play this week considering he suffered a fractured fibula. The Eagles have yet to place him on injured reserve. It’s a bummer to see Carter go because the 25-year-old had a real nice training camp and preseason with Philadelphia. He only managed one reception for 10 yards in the first two games of the regular season Cheap Sidney Jones Jersey , however.The Eagles can’t be seriously considering going into this week’s game with only three receivers. They’re going to have add somebody through trade or free agency. Right? On that front, it’s worth noting that Corey Coleman will be a free agent if he clears waivers. Philadelphia was set to bring the 2016 first-round pick in for a workout last week before he signed with the Patriots. I’d also keep an eye on Jeremy Maclin considering the Eagles had interest in signing him last year at a time when they were much less desperate for receiver help. Stay tuned for more roster updates.

Houston Texans News: October 12 Womens Customized Houston Texans Jerseys , Texans WR DeAndre Hopkins: ‘This is one of the most explosive offenses’ (Houston Chronicle)Texans backup QB Brandon Weeden on Deshaun Watson: ‘Hopefully, he’ll be ready to rock and roll’ (Houston Chronicle)Stephanie Stradley’s Texans-Bills Q&A with Tim Graham (Houston Chronicle)Texans bracing for LeSean McCoy and run-first Bills (Houston Chronicle)NFL NewsBroncos CEO on Joseph: ‘We are all pulling for him’ ( Rodgers dealing with a knee rehab ‘setback’ ( Ajayi had insurance policy to shield from injury ( last-place teams have best shot at playoffs? ( 10 trade candidates: McCoy, Ray on the move? ( return to using Winston in promo campaigns ( Four juicy QB takes that I’m right about ( brothers in fierce competition for sacks lead ( & Collegiate SportsPosnanski: Are the 2018 Red Sox and Astros two of the best baseball teams of all time? (The Athletic)Gambling man: How James Ennis is trying to mold his game to roll with the Rockets (The Athletic)The roster decisions the Astros face ahead of their ALCS matchup against the Red Sox (The Athletic)Pro Football Focus Takes A Look At The 2018 AFC South Pro Football Focus is trying to plunge into actual analytics instead of just providing useful game charting information , trying to make it look special by assigning grades, and then coming up with statistics like pass block efficiency or yards per route run or whatever. In their latest plunge, they have come up with probabilities to forecast the upcoming NFL season Houston Texans T-Shirt , which of course take in account PFF’s grades. Because of this, they have the Colts ranked ahead of the Texans, with Houston in the basement of the AFC South Houston Texans Hats , entering the 2018 NFL season. This is what they had to say:Whatever. This is the type of thing you put on your wall when the Colts finish 6-10 because they didn’t actually try to improve their roster this offseason, after the Texans end up neck-and-neck with the Jags.

 When Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger threw his ill-advised pass that was intercepted in the end zone late in the first half of a three-point game against the Falcons at Heinz Field on Sunday Womens Javon Hargrave Jersey , you may have had a defeated feeling.After building a quick 13-0 lead in the first quarter, Pittsburgh’s offense sputtered in the second. Meanwhile, the Falcons, a team with one of the more high-powered offensive machines in the NFL, scored 10 unanswered points and looked poised for many more after intermission. Furthermore, Atlanta was set to receive the second-half kickoff, and it seemed inevitable that the Steelers’ much-maligned defense would soon collapse. Couldn’t you just imagine a Falcons’ touchdown and a four-point deficit for the home team before the home folks could even get settled into their seats after their concession run at halftime? And with the way the Steelers’ offense had gone into hibernation down-the-stretch in each of the previous two match-ups—Pittsburgh didn’t score a single point in the second half in games against the Buccaneers and Ravens Womens James Conner Jersey , respectively—weren’t you just preparing for the deficit to continue to grow all throughout the final two periods? But a funny thing happened on the way to gloom and doom: the Steelers responded—on both sides of the ball. Instead of marching down the field with the greatest of ease on the opening drive of the third quarter, Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan and Co. could only muster 18 yards on six plays before punting the football back to Pittsburgh.Pittsburgh’s offense responded not with another second half sputter, but with a spurt all the way to pay-dirt on a 12-play, 85-yard drive that consumed 7:06 of clock and culminated in a nine-yard touchdown catch by receiver Antonio Brown, the man who was supposed to be on the receiving end of Roethlisberger’s aforementioned ill-advised pass late in the first half when the Steelers had the ball deep in Atlanta territory and seemed likely to walk away with at least a Chris Boswell field goal attempt. Unlike that ugly second-quarter pass to Brown, who must have been covered by every member of the Falcons’ defense, Roethlisberger’s third-quarter touchdown strike to No. 84 was a precise nine-yard out and gave the Steelers a 20-10 lead.Three plays after that Womens Le'Veon Bell Jersey , fullback Roosevelt Nix blocked a punt, and the punter was ultimately tackled at the Atlanta 19. Three plays after that, running back James Conner followed anotherNix block (this one of the fullback variety) into the end zone for a two-yard touchdown to make it 27-10 and give the Steelers firm control of the game. But things may have turned out differently if not for how both the Steelers’ defense and offense responded right out of the gate in the third quarter.The Steelers re-wrote the second half script they had been following during the first month of the season, and it proved to be pivotal in improving their record to 2-2-1.Steelers vs. Browns Week 1: Knee Jerk Reactions from the Steelers 21-21 tie with Cleveland Finally football that counts! As Week 1 fell upon Steelers Nation, I was enthused to write about all which went down in Cleveland, and then the game started. Nonetheless, a simple reminder Youth Jordan Berry Jersey , a knee jerk reaction is an immediate and unthinking, emotional reaction. I can safely say that’s a true definition of your’s truly and a good lot of Steeler Nation. Here’s my real-time reactions during the Steelers 21-21 tie with the Browns.1st QuarterIt’s obvious they are trying to establish Conner early. Dont know if that ball slipped out of Ben’s mitts, but that was ugly.One thing that Hard Knocks emphasizesd was Cleveland’s lack of discipline. Two penalties in a row for Cleveland.Refs missed a helmet-to-helmet on Sean Davis. I’ll take it.No. 30 going hard.That Dog Pound motif is ugly.Tyrod might not be the QB too long in Cleveland.Switzer excites me.Is it the rain or is Ben off?Bad pick. If AB is covered by three guys, somebody else had to hav3 been open.This Bud’s for you. Big tip.Vintage Ben on that pass to Jesse James.Quarter 2I hate Myles Garrett already. Could Switzer be a gadget guy?Thats the most I’ve seen Ben run in a couple of years.I’ll take the penalty. But I don’t like the call on Garrett. It’s a rule though.Great TD by Conner. But the haircut...Wow!I thought they’d call Tuitt on that one.Thats a rough penalty. Rookie can’t do that.Bostic is in there again.I thought Watt was going to get pinched.Switzer is gutsy.That was an over-over-overthrow.Deep down is Becker Mayfield hoping Taylor gets knocked out.Bruce Arians is quiet, but he’s much better than I thought he’d be.Jesse James is responsible for that last pick.This Bud’s for you again.And again.Quarter 3The switch between Watt and Dupree is working.No problem with Burns slamming Landry. But the helmet? Gotta be more disciplined.When you have a second and goal at the two and you get two penalties, it’s hard to recover. Wow!Say Watt!Gotta feel good for Conner. I’ve never seen a player collectively rooted for more than James. How many “Le’Veon Who?” Posts are going up on Twitter and Facebook right now?Hilton needs to check into the West Penn Burn UnitHaden and Edmunds. Good break ups.Quarter 4Matakevich is one of the better Special Teamers in the league.Good to see DeCastro going back in.Terrible punt.Tomlin was reverse-less on challenges last year. That should change.I don’t agree with Trent Green on this. But what do I know?Bud is getting pressure like crazy today.Bud just got crushed. Where is the flag?Ughhhhhhhh!Gutsy on third and one.Wow! Tie game.This is what conservative offense with a lead gets you.This is what good QBs do. Ben needs this series.I thought that was going to be a pick.Dont like that call on third down.Jordan Berry needs to boot the stuffing out of this ball.12 men is inexcusable.Yes, nice coverage Cam Sutton. Don’t take your helmet off.OvertimeGood defense.Ben looks tentative Youth Jesse James Jersey , but good gain.This isn’t good. Look for the screen to the RB.Surprised Peppers called for a fair catch.Boswell is money for the win.NevermindWell looks like the Steelers will lose this one...can’t believe this.Of course, Watt blocks it and the game ends in a tie. What are these feelings I’m feeling? This feels awful. as I replay the game more and more in my head, my perceptions will alter. But for now, you just got a glimpse of the first thoughts that popped in my mind. Feel free to get your groove on in the comment section.

 Luck hasn’t played in a game in well over a year and hasn’t thrown a football very much before the last few weeks (possibly). Ballard did say that Luck wouldn’t be throwing for 7 straight days right now Womens Ryan Succop Jersey , but barring any setbacks Luck will be ready for the start of the season.This is obviously big news for the Colts. They are probably a playoff contender with Luck and a 4-6 win team without him. I will miss the Jacoby Brissett-led Colts.The AFC South is going to be no joke this season. You have 3 really good quarterbacks in Luck, Marcus Mariota and Deshaun Watson and one team with a terrible quarterback but an elite defense. Gone are the days of the AFC South being the laughing stock of the league. Don’t be surprised if 3 teams from the division make the playoffs. How awesome would it be if the Jags were the one team that didn’t make it??Taylor Lewan spent the day at Vanderbilt’s football camp Earlier today we talked about how Taylor Lewan was absent from the first day of Titans’ veteran mandatory mini-camp. Well later in the day Vanderbilt head football coach Derek Mason tweeted this out:It is cool that Lewan spent his day helping out at that camp. This whole hold out thing is pretty dumb. The Titans are going to pay Lewan. He is going to be the highest paid offensive lineman in the NFL. Those things are inevitable. Why not just go ahead and get this thing done so it isn’t what dominates the headlines for the next few months?In other news , Kevin Dodd was in attendance for today’s work. He spent his day working with the defensive lineman, not the outside linebackers. Dodd really looks more like a DE than an OLB Cheap Kevin Byard Jersey , so this isn’t that surprising from that standpoint, but Jon Robinson drafted Dodd to come in and be a factor in the rotation with Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan. It appears that won’t ever happen.

 Doug Pederson confirmed the reigning Super Bowl MVP will be under center for the Eagles on Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in NFL Week 2.This news is not unexpected. But as of this past Sunday Youth Carson Wentz Jersey , NFL insider Chris Mortensen was saying Carson Wentz “hasn’t been ruled out for Week 2.” Mortensen went on to say that “[Eagles] organizational sources I’ve spoken with say they wouldn’t be surprised if he’s ready for Week 3.” On Wednesday morning, Mort tweeted: “Nick Foles, one more start.” So it appears Wentz has a real shot to return for the Eagles’ game against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 3.In the meantime, Pederson said Wentz still isn’t cleared for contact, and so the Eagles will head to Tampa Bay with Foles as their starter. The 29-year-old has a good track record against the Bucs. In two starts against them, with both games taking place at Raymond James Stadium, Foles has completed 65.9% of his attempts for 677 yards (8.3 average), five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and a 111.7 passer rating. It’d be nice to see Foles bounce back after only registering a 50.7 passer rating against the Falcons in Week 1. Injuries to the Buccaneers’ defense Derek Barnett Jersey , which allowed 40 points in their first game, could further help facilitate a good game from Foles. Tampa Bay potentially might be without both of their starting corners against Philadelphia. As for the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback, we know it’ll still be Ryan Fitzpatrick with Jameis Winston suspended through Week 3. Fitzpatrick went bonkers against the Saints with four touchdown passes and a near-perfect passer rating. Fitzpatrick hasn’t thrived as much during his games against Jim Schwartz defenses over his 14-year NFL career.Eagles vs. Vikings Game Predictions I said it after the Philadelphia’s disappointing loss to the Tennessee Titans and I’ll say it again now: we are going to find out a lot about this 2018 Eagles team today. How this group responds to blowing a 17 to 3 lead last Sunday should let us know just how much fight this team has left in them. The Eagles’ Week 5 opponent, the Minnesota Vikings, arguably have more reason to be desperate than Philly given their 1-2-1 record. But it’d be disappointing to see that show up on the field. The Eagles need to look like the team playing with real urgency. Despite their shaky start, the Eagles should still inspire some faith. Their 17-2 home record has been brought up a billion times this week. That shouldn’t be easily dismissed. That’s a significant advantage working in their favor.Another reason to feel good is that the Eagles still have one of the best quarterbacks in the league. Carson Wentz looked really sharp against the Titans in Week 4 despite the fact he was dealing with a ton of pressure and drops. This offensive line just needs to protect him better. We know they’re capable of doing it.We also know the Eagles defensive line is capable of disrupting the Vikings’ passing offense. Minnesota has allowed the most quarterback pressures in the league this season. The Eagles MUST make life hard on Kirk Cousins and not give him all day to throw against this secondary. Cousins had a tendency to turn the ball over. It’s critical that the Eagles come up with some takeaways. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have at least a little bit of uneasiness heading into this one since the Eagles have been inconsistent. But the truth is the Vikings have looked worse through four games. The Eagles have what it takes to win this game and I believe they will. I expect the play in the trenches to remind of us how the Eagles were so good in 2017. Wentz is going to put up touchdowns against a Vikings defense that’s allowing an average of 29.6 points per game since the NFC Championship Game earlier this year.The reigning Super Bowl champions are going to asset themselves today. The Eagles are going to build a lead comfortable enough to the point where Nick Foles gets to come in for the victory formation at the end of the game. Fans at the Linc will be doing the “FOLES!” chant in mockery of “SKOL.” The Eagles will be advancing to 3-2 while Minnesota drops to 1-3-1.Suggested format:Score prediction:Bold prediction:My predictions:Score prediction: 38-7, Eagles win.Bold prediction: The Eagles intercept Kirk Cousins three times, including one pick six by Sidney Jones. Fan predictions:Bleeding Green Nation FanPulse (survey of Eagles fans): Eagles favored by 3 pointsDaily Norseman FanPulse (survey of Vikings fans): Eagles favored by 1 pointLeave your own predictions in the comments.

 A troika of ESPN insiders recently complied a set of power rankings that claim to rank the outlook of all 32 NFL franchises over the next three seasons.To do this Womens Benardrick McKinney Jersey , they rated “each team’s roster (excluding quarterback), quarterback, draft, front office and coaching.”The final product saw your Houston Texans finish 15th, behind the Eagles, Patriots, Saints, Vikings, Steelers, Falcons, Rams, Packers, Chargers, Seahawks, Jaguars, Panthers, 49ers, and Chiefs.In each of the five categories judged Youth Ka'imi Fairbairn Jersey , the Texans ranked 14th (roster excluding QB), 13th (QB), 9th (draft), 25th (front office), and 18th (coaching) against their peers.This was the analysis:As we sit here today, do you believe that there are fourteen teams better equipped to succeed over the next three years than the Texans?Which squads would you definitively say are in a superior position to the Texans to win in 2018, 2019, and 2020?Red Zone Play: Texans Looking For Excitement In The Details Last weekend’s game against the 49ers was hardly an offensive explosion, nor was it much of a defensive slugfest. In fact, the game as a whole wasn’t exactly one of those “greatest games in history” sort of events. But that doesn’t mean there weren’t a handful of flashes, or explosively bright points in an otherwise ho-hum game. Sign up for Battle Red Blog FanPulse!Since most preseason games are generally about evaluation (from individual performances, position group effectiveness, scheme work and situational play rehearsals), it’s easy to get bored as a fan since the stakes aren’t high and the drama of real team competition never really rises to a climax like it does in the regular season and the NFL Playoffs. Still, there were a fair amount of reasons to get pumped aboutcertain details throughout the game. Here’s a few that stood out for me in a good way:Duke Ejiofor – this kid just continues to get after it. While his impact slowed a bit as the game went on, can you imagine what happens in the regular season when the only person between him and an opposing skill player with the ball is a tight end or tailback? With all the attention his more accomplished teammates will demand, Ejiofor is poised to have one of the best rookie seasons for a Texans edge rusher since J.J. Watt. With either Jadeveon Clowney, Watt or Whitney Mercilus commanding a double-team on every snap , Ejiofor is going to get more than his fair share of shots this year and I for one am totally okay with that. Bruce Ellington – Year Two looks good on Ellington. Sure, chances are he’ll never make us forget about Andre Johnson, but when he’s combined with DeAndre Hopkins and Will Fuller V, Ellington is going to make some plays. Just like Ejiofor, he’s going to be the guy who slides into perfect opportunities simply due to basic math; if you’re busy doubling the star players, guys like Ellington are going to make you pay for it. Seeing that Deshaun Watson is already comfortable using Ellington as his go-to guy, and knowing he has great chemistry with Nuk and Fuller, this explosive offense might just be even more so this season. Joe Webb – I remember when he was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings and hailed with the same sort of praise Braxton Miller received when he was selected by Houston. A dual-threat sort of guy who could be that Swiss Army knife player that allowed the offensive coordinator to dream up all sorts of non-standard plays. While neither Webb or Miller has lived up to that hype, Webb seems capable of not losing a game while running an offense customized to Deshaun Watson’s strengths. There will almost surely never come a day when Webb is at Watson’s level, but knowing he can run a streamlined version of the same offense makes far more sense than erecting a statue of Tom Savage in the pocket should Watson be unable to take the field for any reason. Now here are a few observations that aren’t quite as exciting, or even happy, or anything remotely resembling a #GoTexans sort of thing鈥?Kevin Johnson – chances are I speak for a lot of people when I say it’s time to close the curtain on the Kevin Johnson experiment. We have enough tape on him to realize his technique is flawed.Hs coverage skills – both man and zone – aren’t up to the level necessary to be a starter in the NFL.His inability to take care of his body “in flight” is worrisome. While I certainly hope he recovers fully from his latest injury, I also would be fine if a spot on the final 53-man roster wasn’t held for Johnson. Maybe he can salvage what’s left of his career if he lands with a team that has a defensive back guru on the coaching staff, but it seems clear that sort of coach isn’t wearing Battle Red and Deep Steel Blue. Braxton Miller – speaking of ending the experiment, it’s time for Miller to seek greener pastures as well. With the potential rookie receiver Keke Coutee offers, the consistency Bruce Ellington brings to the field, and the presence of seasoned veteran Sammie Coates, Houston no longer has the luxury of waiting for Miller to achieve his potential. I have to admit I was very wrong about Miller when Houston drafted him , as I saw all sorts of wildcat possibilities with him in the backfield alongside Lamar Miller and Will Fuller; those never occurred, and Miller just can’t seem to do the one thing he needs to do consistently: get open and catch the ball. Secondary – it’s hard to know how this unit is going to perform when the snaps start really counting, since there’s not been any consistency so far in who is on the field and when. And maybe putting Johnathan Joseph, Kareem Jackson, Aaron Colvin, Justin Reid and Tyrann Mathieu on the field together play after play will make a big difference. But if the unit performs the same as they did last weekend, allowing Jimmy Garoppolo to dice up the secondary seemingly at will, Tom Brady will hang 30+ points on them by halftime when Week One rolls around. Now, obviously, there are a lot of variables at play here, from reduced pass rush pressures, to guys learning their rolls, to coming off a week where the teams scrimmaged each other daily, but that sort of performance will require Watson and company to put up 35+ points a game just to hang in there. What did you see? Find a few pluses and minuses of your own? Give us your thoughts in the comments section.

 When Jeremy Fowler of ESPN posted a Tweet on Monday evening suggesting that Le’Veon Bell intended reporting to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 7 , his initial assertion that the information had come from an unnamed company source made the claim feel somewhat speculative. In reality, the ESPN source was himself after he had spoken to Bell in Florida by telephone earlier in the day.While it would be fair to say the Steelers’ star running back hasn’t always been a man of his word, this latest report from Fowler at least provides some credible new insights about the running back’s plans for 2018 and beyond.Glossing over the parts of the interview where Bell humorously suggests that “he is in prime physical condition and could play football “tomorrow” if he needed”, one of the more notable parts of this conversation involved his remarks about what Pittsburgh told him about their plans for him in 2019. As he revealed to Fowler.While Fowler asserts this figure should be more than $17 million, it could actually be closer to $11.2 million if Bell reported by Week 7 — the cost of the transition tag being based on 120% of the running back’s salary this year. Missing six weeks of the season would actually hurt Bell when the transition tag is calculated, as per the rules of the CBA, and barring arbitration to reassert the maximum value Fowler states, the cost could be much lower than some expect.Regardless of Pittsburgh’s intentions, Bell is still convinced there’s a team out there who will be prepared to pay him what he’s looking for, citing teams like the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers Youth Jon Bostic Jersey , Indianapolis Colts, ClevelandBrowns and Philadelphia Eagles as clubs who might be interested in him.Despite a number of media outlets stating that the Steelers had only offered him $10 million in guarantees in their last contract offer, Bell acknowledged to Fowler that it was actually $17 million, but far short of the number he was looking for. Considering the guarantees given to Todd Gurley and David Johnson, the former Michigan State product is not willing to budge from his position. Those assuming Bell has no intention of returning to Pittsburgh in 2019 might be surprised to hear he still believes that will happen.Given the way this saga has played out, I wonder how many fans are hoping for the same outcome. If he could play inside linebacker equally well, I would certainly be all in.Hines Ward ‘embarrassed’ by Antonio Brown’s actions - ‘That’s not the Steelers culture’ Antonio Brown normally does a good job of avoiding contact during a game, but he just cannot seem to escape the off field hits as of late. After being vilified in the press earlier in the week, a former teammate and a Pittsburgh Steelers legend was the latest to call him out in the media when discussing the beleaguered wide receiver on Saturday.Speaking as a guest on The Zach Gelb Show on CBS Sports, Hines Ward had some strong words to share about Brown’s recent antics when asked for his opinion by the host.That being said, Ward knows a win can cure all ills , but he has concerns about what might happen should Pittsburgh drop their third game of their year to a surprisingly challenging opponent in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.Ward blames social media for much of Brown’s problems, suggesting his former teammate would better served staying off the platform altogether, or at least by not responding to the comments .As someone who knows Mike Tomlin and the culture of the locker room under his leadership, Ward takes exception to those who blame the head coach for all of the issues surrounding the team. Ward is not wrong in his assessment of Brown behavior, nor are his remarks about the leaders on the team sharing some responsibilities for the issues that have dogged them. Given his somewhat sensitive nature, it is unlikely that AB will take too kindly to Ward’s words, but as the franchise’s all-time leading receiver (for now), he has more than earned the right to say his piece.The full 20 minute interview can be found here.

Franko Discussion / conference cautioned against
« on: October 16, 2018, 05:00:37 am »
When a New Jersey racetrack and a casino start taking bets on sporting events Thursday Authentic Justin Houston Jersey , they will be part of an industry primed for tremendous growth, much of it taking place on smartphones, according to a panel of national gambling experts.

Speaking Wednesday at the east Coast Gaming Congress at Harrah’s casino in Atlantic City, a panel of sports betting and technology company representatives predicted the fastest-growing segment of sports betting will be bets made on smartphones as games are being played.

While bettors always will want to bet on the outcome of a game before it begins, many also want to predict particular plays or developments within a game, the panelists said.

So in addition to wagering on whether the New York Yankees would beat the Boston Red Sox, many gamblers also would want to bet on whether Yankee Aaron Judge would hit a home run just as he arrives at the plate, or how many batters Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale would strike out in a particular inning.

Such betting is the main element of growth in the European sports betting market.

”The growth of in-play has been a huge driver,” said Neale Deeley, vice president of Sportradar US, a data company that works with more than 70 sports federations and leagues around the world on fraud detection, including the NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer.

”Mobile and in-play were absolutely made for each other,” added Lee Richardson, CEO of Spectrum Gaming Group, a gambling consulting firm near Atlantic City. ”It’s what customers want to do.”

The forum came a day before New Jerseyans were to begin placing their first legal sports bets. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy was to place the state’s first legal sports bet at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Monmouth Park, a horse racing track near the Jersey shore in Oceanport.

Thirty minutes later and about 70 miles to the south, Atlantic City’s Borgata casino will start taking sports bets.

No other New Jersey racetrack or casino has announced plans to begin taking bets within the next few days, although most if not all are expected to do so eventually. The Golden Nugget casino and the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, near New York City say they’ll have sports betting operations up and running by the start of football season in September.

New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement issued its regulations for sports betting providers Wednesday, clearing the last major obstacle for it to begin.

The state won a U.S. Supreme Court case last month clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting if they choose.

Experts at the conference cautioned against unduly optimistic projections of sports betting revenue and tax money for states; the activity accounts for about 2 percent of Nevada casinos’ total winnings. In New Jersey, Moody’s has estimated sports betting could initially bring in $108 million, or about 4 percent of the state’s annual gambling revenue.

Follow Wayne Parry at

Franko Discussion / six Rams with playoff
« on: October 16, 2018, 04:51:07 am »

Saturday Rick Nash Jersey , 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC

OPENING LINE – Rams by 5

RECORD VS. SPREAD – Atlanta 7-9, Los Angeles 9-7

SERIES RECORD – Rams lead 47-29-2

LAST MEETING – Falcons beat Rams, 42-14, Dec. 11, 2016

LAST WEEK – Falcons beat Panthers 22-10; 49ers beat Rams 34-13

AP PRO32 RANKING – Falcons No. 9, Rams No. 4





STREAKS, STATS AND NOTES – Rams’ first playoff game in 13 years is against defending NFC champions. … Falcons were NFL’s highest-scoring team last year. Rams were tops this year. … Falcons in postseason for second straight year after last season ended with memorable collapse in Super Bowl. … Falcons routed Rams 42-14 at Coliseum in December 2016. Rams coach Jeff Fisher was fired next day, eventually paving way for Sean McVay, who went to high school near Atlanta. … QB Matt Ryan making sixth playoff trip in 10 years. He had 20 TD passes this season after throwing 38 last year as league MVP. … Rams offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur was Ryan’s quarterbacks coach last season. … Falcons’ offense didn’t flow under first-year coordinator Steve Sarkisian, who coached USC at Coliseum until getting fired in 2015. … Falcons put starting LG Andy Levitre on injured reserve this week, changing O-line dynamic with Rams line-wrecker Aaron Donald looming. … Falcons WRs Julio Jones and Mohamed Sanu remain among NFL’s best duos, combining for 2,147 yards and eight TDs. … Rams GM Les Snead was in Falcons’ front office for 13 years, and assistant GM Brian Xanders worked for Falcons for 14 years. … Rams earned first winning season and NFC West title since 2003 and first playoff berth since 2004 season with spectacular one-year transformation under McVay, now youngest coach to make playoffs in NFL history, breaking record set by 33-year-old Ray Flaherty with Washington in 1936. … No rookie head coach won NFL playoff game in any of past four seasons. … Rams hosting wild-card playoff game for second time in franchise history, first since December 1984 in Anaheim. Rams haven’t had playoff game at Coliseum since Jan. 7, 1979. … Rams are only 4-10 at Coliseum in two seasons since relocation, going 3-4 this year. … LA went from 32nd in NFL in scoring in 2016 to first in 2017. … RB Todd Gurley led NFL with 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 total TDs. … Rams LT Andrew Whitworth was key to turnaround. He is 0-6 in playoffs during career spent previously with Cincinnati. Whitworth is one of six Rams with playoff experience. … Counting on new K Sam Ficken after Pro Bowl selection Greg Zuerlein got hurt last month. … Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips was Falcons defensive coordinator and interim head coach in 2003. … Rams’ last playoff game was at Atlanta in January 2005. Michael Vick ran for 119 yards in Falcons’ 47-17 win. … Rams are second team in NFL history to host playoff game in temporary home stadium. Minnesota did it three years ago.

Franko Discussion / awards were announced Saturday
« on: October 16, 2018, 04:38:05 am »
For the third time Youth Mason Rudolph Jersey , Tom Brady is the NFL’s Most Valuable Player.

Now he goes for his sixth Super Bowl title, and perhaps with it a fifth MVP trophy for the NFL championship.

Brady added The Associated Press 2017 NFL MVP award Saturday night at NFL Honors to his wins in 2007 and 2010. The New England Patriots quarterback was joined as an honoree by three Los Angeles Rams: Coach of the Year Sean McVay, Offensive Player of the Year running back Todd Gurley and Defensive Player of the Year tackle Aaron Donald.

Other winners in voting by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the league were Los Angeles Chargers receiver Keenan Allen as Comeback Player; New Orleans running back Alvin Kamara and cornerback Marshon Lattimore as top offensive and defensive rookies, respectively; and former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, now head coach of the New York Giants, as Assistant Coach of the Year.

Brady is the second the player in the four major professional sports to win MVP at age 40; Barry Bonds won baseball’s award in 2004.

Wide receiver Julian Edelman, who missed the entire season with a knee injury, accepted for Brady.

”Thanks, thanks. Wait up. I literally just found out I was doing this like 20 minutes ago. So, I’ve got to read the text,” Edelman said.

”No, but I’m joking. But serious, Tom said he wanted to say he’s very honored and humbled that he gets this award for MVP. Also, he wanted to thank his teammates, his friends, his family and the Patriots organization for going out and doing what they do.”

Brady competed 385 of 581 passes (66.2 percent) for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns with eight interceptions as New England went 13-3 for the AFC’s best record. At an age when many QBs are deep into retirement, Brady is throwing deep – and short – as well as ever.

Donald was the first pure defensive tackle to win the award since Warren Sapp in 1999. He said it means ”everything. That’s one of the best to ever do it. So, even for my name to be next to that guy’s name is beyond a blessing. This is what you dream about as a kid, dreaming about playing in the NFL to have success like this, to be able to (play good enough) to win this trophy.”

Gurley’s sensational turnaround season in which he ran for 13 touchdowns and caught six TD passes sparked an equally impressive reversal of fortunes by his team, which won the NFC West at 11-5.

”The Saints got the rookies and we took home the offensive and defensive” player awards,” Gurley noted. ”It just tells you the type of players we have on the team. We all help each other out, absolutely. We have some talent, but we’re nothing without the whole nine yards and everybody together. And we also have a coach who’s up for Coach of the Year.”

A little while later, McVay was handed the coaching award.

In his first season running a team and as the youngest head coach in NFL history, McVay led the Rams to a seven-game improvement. McVay, who turned 32 on Jan. 24, ran away with the voting with 35 votes to 11 for Minnesota’s Mike Zimmer.

”What it means is we had a good season that I think we can build on,” McVay said. ”But you have to earn it every single day. It’s a very humbling league.”

The Rams’ hat trick of awards was not unprecedented. In 2003, Baltimore’s Ray Lewis was top defensive player, Jamal Lewis won best offensive player, and Terrell Suggs was Defensive Rookie of the Year. And in 1999, the St. Louis Rams had three award winners: Kurt Warner (MVP), Marshall Faulk (Offensive Player) and Dick Vermeil (Coach).

New Orleans’ sweep of the rookie awards was the first since 1967, when Detroit running back Mel Farr and cornerback Lem Barney were honored. That was the first season for the top defensive rookie award.

”You get caught up in the season, you don’t really get time to pat yourself on the back,” Kamara said. ”But when the season is over you realize what you’ve done. I’ve kind of had to time to look back and say, I made some history this season.”

Kamara shared duties with veteran Mark Ingram as the Saints won the NFC South. He rushed for 728 yards with a 6.1-yard average, and scored eight times. He also caught 81 passes for 826 yards, with five touchdowns.

The 11th overall draft pick and first from his position selected, Lattimore was a shutdown defender as the Saints went 11-5. He had five interceptions and 18 passes defensed in 13 games, was a sure tackler and, by midseason, was someone opposing quarterbacks tended to avoid. He missed three games, one because of a concussion and two with an ankle injury.

Allen returned from two devastating injuries to win the comeback honor. Allen missed half of the 2015 season with a kidney issue, then was lost in the 2016 season opener with a torn right ACL. There were questions if Allen would ever player at a high level again.

He answered those emphatically this season with the best year of his career. Allen caught 102 passes for 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. He was targeted 159 times, nearly 10 per game.

The awards were announced Saturday night at NFL Honors, when Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt received the league’s Walter Payton Award as man of the year. Watt, in his seventh NFL season and a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, had the goal of raising $200,000 for Hurricane Harvey relief in Houston. His fundraising did a whole lot more, bringing in an incredible $37 million in 19 days.

”I’ve been fortunate to be on this stage and to win Defensive Player of the Year awards, but

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