NFL 2017-2018 Preseason Schedule

 

By: Will Stevenson

Can you feel it? Just imagine the droughts and sounds of the NFL season. Two-a-days, minicamps, veteran camps, seven on seven drills, torn acl’s, Non-contact injuries, position battles, and most importantly: Expert analysis of guys in shorts.

There are countless things that could irritate a football fan, but actual football isn’t one of them. So between now and the first preseason game, we have months to comb through every team, transaction and predict who will do what when the season rolls around. It will be exciting to see how the top drafted rookie quarterbacks find their footing on teams that made the playoffs last season: Chiefs and Texans. We all know how the preseason goes: Stars play in one or two games for a few series, then the backups. I also have an interest in fringe plays attempting to made rosters within the new safety guidelines for special teams.

So let us take a look at the preseason schedule. The competition will be early as starters make their way off the field after a few possessions, but don’t let that deter you from consuming the whole game. Position battles, overall team health, sheer talent, and a basic understanding of the team’s philosophy will be on display. So it’s not the Pro Bowl, but it’s damn near close for those first few series.

Not need to worry. Football is own it’s way, and it starts with the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd with the Cowboys and the Cardinals.

 

 

NFL/Hall of Fame Game – AUGUST 3
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 3 Dallas Cowboys vs Arizona Cardinals 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 1 – AUGUST 9-13
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Wed Aug. 9 Houston Texans at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Minnesota Vikings at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Atlanta Falcons at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Washington Redskins at Baltimore Ravens 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Jacksonville Jaguars at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Denver Broncos at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 New Orleans Saints at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 10 Philadelphia Eagles at Green Bay Packers 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Pittsburgh Steelers at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 11 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cincinnati Bengals 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 11 San Francisco 49ers at Kansas City Chiefs 8:00 PM (CT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Tennessee Titans at New York Jets 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Dallas Cowboys at Los Angeles Rams 6:00 PM (PT) 9:00 PM
Sat Aug. 12 Oakland Raiders at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Detroit Lions at Indianapolis Colts 1:30 PM (ET) 1:30 PM
Sunday Aug. 13 Seattle Seahawks at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
WEEK 2 – AUGUST 17-21
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 17 Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Buffalo Bills at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 17 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Jacksonville Jaguars 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
Friday Aug. 18 Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Carolina Panthers at Tennessee Titans 2:00 PM (CT) 3:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Kansas City Chiefs at Cincinnati Bengals 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Indianapolis Colts at Dallas Cowboys 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New York Jets at Detroit Lions 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Green Bay Packers at Washington Redskins 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 19 New England Patriots at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Los Angeles Rams at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Sat Aug. 19 Chicago Bears at Arizona Cardinals 7:00 PM (MST) 10:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 Atlanta Falcons at Pittsburgh Steelers 4:00 PM (ET) 4:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 20 New Orleans Saints at Los Angeles Chargers 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM
Monday Aug. 21 New York Giants at Cleveland Browns 8:00 PM (ET) 8:00 PM ESPN
WEEK 3 – AUGUST 24-27
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET NAT. TV
Thurs Aug. 24 Miami Dolphins at Philadelphia Eagles 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 24 Carolina Panthers at Jacksonville Jaguars 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Friday Aug. 25 New England Patriots at Detroit Lions 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Friday Aug. 25 Kansas City Chiefs at Seattle Seahawks 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Arizona Cardinals at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Buffalo Bills at Baltimore Ravens 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 New York Jets at New York Giants 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Indianapolis Colts at Pittsburgh Steelers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Oakland Raiders at Dallas Cowboys 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Los Angeles Chargers at Los Angeles Rams 5:00 PM (PT) 8:00 PM CBS
Sat Aug. 26 Houston Texans at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Sat Aug. 26 Green Bay Packers at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Sunday Aug. 27 Chicago Bears at Tennessee Titans 12:00 PM (CT) 1:00 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 Cincinnati Bengals at Washington Redskins 4:30 PM (ET) 4:30 PM FOX
Sunday Aug. 27 San Francisco 49ers at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM NBC
WEEK 4 – AUGUST 31
DAY DATE VISITOR HOME LOCAL ET
Thurs Aug. 31 Jacksonville Jaguars at Atlanta Falcons 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Detroit Lions at Buffalo Bills 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers 6:00 PM (CT) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cincinnati Bengals at Indianapolis Colts 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Philadelphia Eagles at New York Jets 7:00 PM (ET) 7:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Pittsburgh Steelers at Carolina Panthers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 New York Giants at New England Patriots 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Washington Redskins at Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7:30 PM (ET) 7:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Cleveland Browns at Chicago Bears 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Dallas Cowboys at Houston Texans 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Miami Dolphins at Minnesota Vikings 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Baltimore Ravens at New Orleans Saints 7:00 PM (CT) 8:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs 7:30 PM (CT) 8:30 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Arizona Cardinals at Denver Broncos 7:00 PM (MT) 9:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Seattle Seahawks at Oakland Raiders 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM
Thurs Aug. 31 Los Angeles Chargers at San Francisco 49ers 7:00 PM (PT) 10:00 PM

“West Coast is the best Coast and you have to be a Beast to live in the East”

By Lawrence Edwards

It’s already week 11 in the NFL season. Man! time has really flown by. It’s November and all the games from here on out have playoff implications for many teams, specifically in the NFL’s two best divisions, the AFC West and NFC East. The AFC West has 3 teams sitting at 7-2 after week 11, Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders and the Denver Broncos. One of these 3 teams will most likely be in the AFC Championship taking on New England.Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers - Week 10 Picks And ... Raiders run past Broncos to take hold of AFC West lead - Sportsnet.ca Kansas City is probably the strongest team out of the West based on the team being well rounded on both sides of the ball, but Oakland is a potential juggernaut offensively and the defense showed signs of living up to it’s potential before the bye. I still find it rather impressive how Kansas City can lose it’s franchise and pro bowl rusher and still have the talent to never miss a beat in the run game. Spencer Ware will the face of that backfield for some time. Denver is more of the   2016 AFC West NFL Betting Preview: Champion Broncos Still Headline the ... card here. The Broncos have a super bowl caliber defense that can win championships but the sub par play of the offense is a major achillies heel. Yes the defense is capable of stopping teams like New England, but what happens when Tom Brady has one of those games where the defense doesn’t matter? Trevor Seimian will not be even close to capable of matching Brady point for point. Still the Denver defense and offense have done just enough to be sitting at 7-2 with a shot to still take the division. The AFC West is the toughest division in the league right now and all three of these teams are probably dead set on knocking off the AFC favorites Patriots when the time comes.

 

In the NFC East there is much less room for mistakes, because unlike the AFC West, not every team has the same amount of wins. The Dallas Cowboys sit atop the NFL with a record of 8-1 thanks to the stellar play of the offensive live and the two rookie sensations.... Pittsburgh This Weekend (11-11 through 11-13) | Pittsburgh Beautiful Coming in at #2 is the New York Giants and they are a game and half behind Dallas with a record of 6-3. The win in the season opener puts the Giants within striking distance of catching the Cowboys. Dallas would need to drop a game and lose to New York on December 11th for that to happen. The Redskins are 5-3 and the Philly brings up the rear at 5-4 but sit at 0-3 in the division. As it stands today and if they can keep pulling out wins, the NFC East would send 3 teams to the playoffs; The Cowboys, Giants, and Redskins. That’s right, in just one season the East has gone from least to beast. The division is made up of offenses who can light up a score board and relentless bend but don’t break defenses who may not always wow you with crazy amounts of sacks and flashy plays but will keep you out of the end zone at critical moments and step up to the plate when they’re called upon to give the offense another chance. The play calling of Ben McAdoo has been getting better and better since coming out of the bye week and the Giants offense is beginning to click and take shape. The run game however still needs work, they did however have one of their best ground performances against the Bengals on Sunday. Quick Notes November 14, 2016 Giants vs Bengals - Bleedbigblue.com tempRedskins-Vikings-HighlightsRedskins-Vikings-AlumniGC1_1019--nfl ... The Redskins are another team who’s offense is starting to play to its potential. Although the Vikings have been on the decline the Skins put up an impressive performance against one of the NFL’s best defenses and their defense really came to play making critical plays in key moments that helped them secure the victory. The room for mistakes for everyone besides Dallas is extremely scarce. A loss gives Dallas more separation and other teams more momentum to move up into your place. From here on out for the Giants, Redskins, and Eagles, every game is a must win game.

 

What to look forward to in Week 9!

WESTERN SHOWDOWN!

Photos - Week 10: Broncos vs Raiders — NFL RUSH Derek Carr and the hot Oakland Raiders host Von Miller and the Denver Broncos in a prime time Sunday night match up. Both teams are coming in to the game at 6-2 with firm control over the AFC West on the line. Winner takes top seed in the AFC West and holds their own destiny to a ride into the post season, losing doesn’t necessarily put the other out of playoff contention but it will make the road to SB 51 much tougher and besides, no one likes to lose, especially to a division opponent. If the Raiders do pull off this win, it will be impressive against this Denver defense and Oakland will most likely make the playoffs for the first time in forever

BATTLE TO KEEP PACE WITH DALLAS!

From the Sidelines: Giants vs. Eagles (1/3)The New York Giants are the only team to beat the NFC leading Dallas Cowboys this season and the Philadelphia Eagles just blew a 10 point lead late in the 3rd Quarter against the Cowboys last week and allowed Jason Witten to catch his first touchdown of the season as a game winner…BUMMER! The Giants and the Eagles meet Sunday afternoon – both teams looking to go 5-3 on the season –  with an advantage to control their own destiny with at least a wild card spot for the playoffs. This game looms larger for New York. The Giants are coming off a bye week fully healthy, getting a downed Eagles team straight off of two division losses in back to back weeks. A win here will put them in the driver seat for a wild card spot and the opportunity to still take the division if Dallas drops a game and the Giants keep winning and knocks off Dallas when they meet again at MetLife. A loss for Philly here could put them in a detrimental state at 0-3 in the East and 4-4 on the year.The NFC East is getting very interesting!

“WAIT BATMAN, IT MIGHT BE A TRAP”

At 0-3, Terrelle Pryor Believes Cleveland Browns Can Go 13-0 The Rest ... Speaking of the NFC East, the Dallas Cowboys are hot right now. Dak Prescott has matured as the season has gone on his confidence is through the roof. You can also send a lot of praise for his success to fellow rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott and that outstanding wall of an offensive line they have, the defense has been stepped up too. With all that being said, this should be an automatic W in the in win column right? Although I don’t for a second believe it will happen, Dallas could be staring in the face of a trap game this Sunday. Cleveland is 0-8 and  desperately looking for their first win. The game is at home and Dallas will be without two key cogs in their secondary. Barry Church and Morris Caliborne, the latter who has been having a pretty good season so far, will miss at least a month according to Jerry Jones. The Cleveland Browns have been competitive in all of their losses this season and surprisingly good, QB turned WR, Terrell Pryor has become a real threat in the passing game. He put up 101 yards on 6 catches last week against Derrell Revis and Pryor will look to take advantage of Dallas’s banged up secondary.

IT’S WEEK 9 AND THE NFC NORTH IS STILL WIDE OPEN!

Matthew Stafford, Fantasy Football Start or Sit, Detroit LionsI’m sure I am not the only one who thought around this time the Pack will be at least 8-1 and running away with the NFC North as they usually do, but that’s not the case. Also, just when you thought Minnesota’s defense was going to hide their mediocre offensive issues all the way to the first seed in the NFC, they go out and lose two back to back games, one to the hapless Chicago Bears where Jay Cutler threw for 252 yards and a TD and Jordan Howard ran for 153 yards and a TD.Everson Griffen of the Minnesota Vikings sacks of Aaron Rodgers of the ...

All of sudden they don’t look so tough. Detroit is 4-4 and 3rd in the North. A Detroit win in Minnesota on Sunday will put them in a good spot and even better if Green Bay loses to the Colts. From there on they would just have to take care of business on their end facing the Jaguars, Minnesota in Detroit, the Saints, Bears, New York Giants, Dallas, and what could potentially be the battle for the North against Green Bay at home to finish the season. The NFC North could very well send a 10-6 or 9-7 team to the playoffs if the Vikings lose this week and continue to decline. No one in this division have shown any signs of pulling away from the other.

I seriously think you should jump on this wave!

By Lawrence Edwards

OK, before I get started let me tell you that this isn’t a fad that will quickly fade out, nor is it a get rich quick scheme. It’s simple, I am not forcing you or trying to persuade you to do anything. I just want to share with you something that I know sports enthusiasts every where will enjoy and offer you the opportunity to be apart of something or get ahead of everyone else on a trend that is about to take the world by storm. From Football to Cricket we have something every sports will fall in love with. You have two options: Affiliate or Player. I will go in to great detail about both and most importantly the coming of a game changing sports app by United Games that is going to absolutely blow your mind!

Now what we are talking about here is an app that will let you enjoy your favorite sport interactively while watching the game. This app is going to bring a new dynamic way of playing of enjoying sports. It’s not just going to focus on the major sports but every sport.  The point is to get everyone to enjoy sports better, not just the people who have time for drafts and 4 different fantasy leagues or the ones who are good at selecting the right combination of players in order to enjoy the experience.

Now, as I previously mentioned you have two options to join this wave, either as a player or an affiliate. If you want to just be one of the first to enjoy the experience of this game changing app then sign up as a player for free. You will be a pre-registered player and once the app launches within the next 5 weeks you can begin enjoying your interactive sports experience and start earning some rewards and points. I don’t know about you but once I started playing fantasy football and basketball, the game became THAT much more interesting to me. I began to pay attention to things that I didn’t before. This interactive app will award every real sports fan the same experience but much better – did I mention that some of EA Sports former developers are building this thing? – Get ahead of the trend, this app is coming and it’s going to change the way we enjoy sports forever and it will be the first of it’s kind, share it with your neighbors, share it with your family, if they love sports, chances are they will love this!

Now if you are interested in becoming an affiliate of United Games and getting the opportunity to not only get ahead of the trend but earn some money while doing it, then this the route you want to go. Now let me tell you this isn’t a pyramid scheme or something wild like that, if you don’t want to be an affiliate then you don’t have to. We aren’t trying to recruit people for money, we are just offering an opportunity to earn some income based off of people just playing the game. Now when this was brought to me a few weeks ago I had my initial negative thoughts. I was told that I can become an affiliate for free, feel it out see if I like it and if I do I would have to pay a one time fee of $30 to stay an affiliate and $9.99 a month to maintain my affiliate site and if I don’t just simply cancel no harm done. Now I’m no easy person to convince to join things, so I did my own research before I agreed to sign up for anything. Now I hate selling things, I’m terrible at it, so the fact I didn’t have to sell a product and it was an app – I’m a huge tech junkie – helped me decide to really read up on it. So I did my research and found that this app could really be something special and I don’t have to pay my fee until the app launches in 4-5 weeks at the time of this writing. I figured, what can I lose? I can jump on board playing a new fantasy app and maybe earn some money while doing it. Every time you share the app and someone signs up, whether as an affiliate or a player, and starts buying or earning tokens, you get a piece of the pie, NICE! Another selling point for me was the fact that in order for you to earn income you have to fill out tax form 1099. That right there let me know it was legit. Now United Games is offering this opportunity only up until the app launches in 5 weeks. Once it goes live, the affiliate opportunity will be no longer offered. You will only be able to download and use the app.

Whether you sign up to be a player or an affiliate I can assure you that this app is going to change your sporta experience. The point of this blog is to get the word out that a Giant is coming and to offer, what I believe to be a grand opportunity to be apart of the next big thing. If you like what you heard here today feel free to drop a comment, email me (lawrence.edwards115@gmail.com) or if you got here through my Facebook link, just shoot me a DM and I will happily send you a link to be an affiliate or a free player so you will be all set to go when the app launches. Once you click the link there will be more information for you to read through to get an even better understanding. You’re going to love this!

Here is a one page info sheet you can look at to get more information. Feel free to contact me with questions.

 

The Architect

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Sports Elite 

By Joshua Bowers

The Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. These are the buildings and landmarks that look majestic and are awe-inspiring at the sight of them. We see the finished product. We see the shape of the building, the way that the glass, steel, and concrete come together in ways to form something that sometimes shows us what is possible when a human being fully dedicates themselves to something. Few see the work of the architect.

In order for an architect to accomplish such feats as building something majestic, it first takes vision. They have to see the design of the building in their head long before the foundation is laid. Then they must have direction. They must find a way to take the image in their head and bring it to life. They must put a plan in place in order to turn the vision in their head into the finished product that we see today. Some architects have dedicated most of their lives to realize their dreams of designing some of these buildings. The Denver Broncos defense that has been assembled is his masterpiece and the architect is John Elway.

It was 2013. The Seattle Seahawks were on the field celebrating their championship win, a 52-8 drubbing of the Denver Broncos. In a season where the Broncos and Peyton Manning had broken so many offensive records and destroyed so many defenses, how could something like this happen? How could you be so good offensively yet get beat by such a large margin? The Seattle Seahawks defense aka “The Legion of Boom” put on a defensive clinic that night. The Broncos got behind and the Seahawks just played relentless defense all night. It was on that night that John Elway realized something that has been a saying among football fans and coaches alike for years; Defense wins championships.

One of the first traits of most any successful defense is the defensive line play. The tone gets set at the line of scrimmage. Whether it be rushing the quarterback or stuffing the run, when the defensive line plays well it makes everyone else on the defenses’ job easier. In 2012, the Denver Broncos traded back all the way out of the first round and into the second, which left a lot of fans scratching their heads. They used the eventual 36th pick to draft Derek Wolfe. That was a pick that went under the radar and I still personally don’t feel receives its full due. Derek Wolfe was the defensive player of the year in the conference, coming out of Cincinnati when the Broncos drafted him. Analysts were scratching their heads because at the time the Broncos employed the 4-3 defensive scheme and Wolfe played in the 3-4 scheme while at Cincy. Wolfe was known as a player who had a relentless motor that never stopped. He is still showing that trait even to this day and his impact on the defense is undeniable. In 2013, the Broncos spent their first round pick on Sylvester Williams, a defensive tackle out of North Carolina. Sylvester had the type of acceleration that is rare for a player of his size, but he was still a young player so when Terrance Knighton left via free agency, Elway brought in Antonio Smith and Vance Walker. They were the veteran presence that was needed to help Sylvester Williams and it also added depth to our line. In 2002 the Broncos drafted Malik Jackson out of Tennessee in the fifth round. Can you say steal? Again, he was a player that ran the 3-4 defense in college and when we switched to the 3-4 defense last year, Jackson really flourished. This defensive line only allowed 83.6 rushing yards a game last year, which was number one in the NFL last year. To hold someone to that, the defensive line has to be dominant.

Another successful ingredient in a dominant defense is a pass rush. The Broncos led the NFL last year in sacks with 52 sacks last year in the regular season. They consistently applied enough pressure to opposing quarterbacks and never really allowed them to get any rhythm. That all starts with Von Miller. The first pick that Elway had in his tenure as GM of the Broncos, he used it to get Von Miller out of Texas A&M. I believe that was a pick that was well spent as Von Miller dominated in the playoffs last year and absolutely destroyed the Panthers in their Super Bowl win. After their loss to Seattle, one of the players that John Elway signed via free agency was Demarcus Ware. Ware had been let go by the Cowboys after an injury riddled couple of seasons and at that point was considered to be on the downside of his career. He has been a mentor to Von Miller, along with a huge presence in the locker room. His impact on Von Miller has been mind-blowing, as he has shown everybody in the locker what it means to be a professional and most importantly showed them how to carry themselves like one. He was also 2nd on the team last year with 7.5 sacks. Not bad for someone on the downside of their career, eh? In the 2015 draft, the Broncos drafted Shane Ray, who provided depth and did a good job when he stepped on the field last year to relieve players. I also can’t forget about Danny Trevathan, who led the Broncos in tackles last year and had the speed to cover tight ends in coverage, as well as being all over the field. But an undrafted free agent made a huge impact on the team. His name is Shaquille Barrett, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State. Shaquille filled in the absence of Von Miller and Demarcus Ware due to resting and various injuries. He had 5.5 sacks last year, 5 forced fumbles, and was sixth on the team in tackles. It has been that type of eye that has allowed the Broncos to get steals via undrafted free agents (I’ll bring up another later on).

One of the most important and most vital ingredients of a defense in the NFL today is a dominant secondary. Denver has that in the “No Fly Zone”. Their leader is TJ Ward aka “Boss”. In a 2014 free agency class that included Ware, Aqib Talib, and other big players, Ward were viewed as the biggest signing. It’s not every day that you get to get a Pro Bowl caliber safety in free agency. Ward was 4th on the team in tackles and has been the voice of leadership in the secondary for the Broncos. Then you have Aqib Talib. He was also acquired in free agency in 2014 and he has been a shutdown corner since his arrival. His college teammate, who the Broncos signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, is Chris Harris Jr. When the Broncos played the Pittsburgh Steelers last year, Antonio Brown caught a TD pass with Chris Harris Jr. covering him. You may be wondering why I bring this up. The reason is that was the first TD pass that Harris had allowed in 2 YEARS!! He has gone from an undrafted player to one of the best cornerbacks in the league since entering the league. Add in Bradley Roby and you have one of the most formidable secondary’s in the NFL. They only allowed 199.6 yards per game through the air for the season, earning their nickname along the way!

The Orange Crush, led by Wade Phillips, was the number one defense last year in the NFL and almost single-handedly won the championship last year. They only allowed 18.5 points per game last year and never allowed over 29 points at any point last year. They were consistently put in bad situations, often with the game on the line, they always stood up and did their job. The 2015 Broncos were built like an NFL team in the 80’s or 90’s. If all else fails, let the defense dominate and take over the game. If the Broncos are able to come out and duplicate the type of season that they had last year, you have to put them in the conversation as the best defense of all time. Especially if they manage to win the Super Bowl again. John Elway had a vision of the type of team that he wanted to build, what type of defense that he wanted. He had a plan to get there and bring it to life and now all of the NFL is getting to witness his masterpiece!

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2016 NFL Season Preview and Predictions

By Brian Jones

For football fans everywhere there are certain points on the football calendar to look forward to and tomorrow is definitely one of them as training camp for all 32 teams gets underway. Before the first official whistle gets blown, however, I’m going to make some bold predictions and give some random opinions on this upcoming season. The Road To The Super Bowl officially starts tomorrow and only one team will win it all. Here is how I believe things will shake out, starting with the AFC and NFC West Divisions (all divisions in predicted order of finish with record):

AFC West

Oakland Raiders (11-5)

Kansas City Chiefs (9-7)

Denver Broncos (7-9)

San Diego Chargers (4-12)

No, that’s no typo and yes, I have Oakland winning 11 games and the division. Seriously. The Chiefs have key injuries on both sides of the ball, a game manager at quarterback and key injuries from players on both sides of the ball. The Chargers are still a mess unto themselves and the Broncos are deciding if Mark “Butt Fumble” Sanchez or Trevor Simian will be their starting quarterback this season (Von Miller can’t do it all). It all adds up to Oakland taking this division and making their first playoff appearance in 13 years.

NFC West

Arizona Cardinals (12-4)

Seattle Seahawks (11-5)

Los Angeles Rams (6-10)

San Francisco 49ers (1-15)

So we got 2 teams that’ll contend for home field advantage and the Super Bowl, one team that’ll contend for pride and little else and one team what will likely be the league’s doormat this season. Seattle and Arizona will fight to see who wins the division while the Rams will look the part of a competitive team but have Jeff Fisher still leading them down the wrong path. Meanwhile, can San Francisco win a game this season (they have a chance to go 0-16)?

NFC South 

Carolina Panthers (10-6)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-8)

Atlanta Falcons (7-9)

New Orleans Saints (7-9)

Carolina ran away with the division and the NFC last season and still have the pieces in place to make another Super Bowl run as one of the NFL’s more competitive divisions continues to rebuild. Atlanta’s late season nosedive still has me concerned and New Orleans is in a bit of a transition on both sides of the ball. Tampa Bay’s successes will hinge on Jameis Winston and his continued development. With everything considered, Cam Newton and Carolina win the division with little trouble this season.

AFC South

Houston Texans (11-5)

Indianapolis Colts (10-6)

Jacksonville Jaguars (9-7)

Tennessee Titans (6-10)

This division could go one of 3 ways – the Colts, Jags or Texans could win the division crown. Houston has the most talent and better overall roster (on paper) and they are the pick here. Andrew Luck can’t stay healthy and is turnover prone while Jacksonville has the pieces to win but may not be ready. Tennessee is still rebuilding and won’t be in the division basement for long. Texans should win the division for the second straight season but don’t at all be surprised if Indianapolis or Jacksonville find a way to pull it off.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers (11-5)

Minnesota Vikings  (11-5)

Chicago Bears (7-9)

Detroit Lions (5-11)

Another division with 2 playoff caliber teams and 2 doormats. Minnesota is a few players away from becoming a Super Bowl contender while Detroit and Chicago both have gunslingers at quarterback with Matthew Stafford and Jay Cutler…but both teams have marginal defenses and little else to fall back on. Aaron Rodgers is Aaron Rodgers and that, along with a championship-caliber roster, will keep Green Bay in the driver’s seat in the division but Minnesota will be there all season to contend for the division crown.

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-5)

Baltimore Ravens (11-5)

Cincinnati Bengals (8-8)

Cleveland Browns (4-12)

This division is about hard-hitting defenses and explosive offenses and this season will be no different. Baltimore’s Joe Flacco should recover from his ACL injury while Pittsburgh will bring back a healthy roster after injuries hampered them down the stretch last season. Both teams have the defenses and overall talent to win it all in 2016. The Bengals lost a lot of talent in free agency and didn’t do much to replace it. That will show this season as the Bengals will take a step back. Browns fans may want to have the Cavaliers’ championship parade on standby because there’s not going to be a lot to cheer about in Cleveland as another rebuilding project gets underway.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys (10-6)

New York Giants (9-7)

Washington Redskins (7-9)

Philadelphia Eagles (6-10)

Yes, you read that correctly, I said Dallas will win 10 games and the division. Until Kirk Cousins can beat a team with a winning record you can put much stock in Washington’s chances this season. The Eagles are in a full rebuild now so don’t expect much from them either. The Giants made upgrades on defense and possibly have Victor Cruz returning on offense but if Dallas can stay healthy and keep Tony Romo in one piece that will be enough for them to win the division this season.

AFC East

New England Patriots (13-3)

New York Jets (8-8)

Miami Dolphins (6-10)

Buffalo Bills (6-10)

This was the easiest division to predict. Most think that since Tom Brady is suspended for four games the rest of the division will get off to a fast start and take advantage, right? Wrong. Dead wrong. The Jets have all the pieces and no quarterback while the Dolphins don’t have enough talent to keep up. Buffalo has the talent but can Rex Ryan do enough with it to save his job? How will things play out? Brady comes back, plays angry on the way to 13 wins, league MVP and another AFC East division title in his pocket.

So there it is, my fearless predictions on how this season will play out…but before I wrap this up here are my predictions on how the championship games and Super Bowl will play out:

AFC Championship: New England over Houston 35-27

NFC Championship: Arizona over Carolina 38-33

Super Bowl LI: New England over Arizona 37-27 (Tom Brady wins MVP)

I’m aware that most, if not all, of what I’ve laid out here may  or may not come true (that’s why they’re called predictions)…but just to be fair we’ll revisit this the Tuesday after the regular season and the Tuesday after the Super Bowl to see how right (or wrong) I was. Football is FINALLY back and this season promises to be another good one full of big games, interesting storylines and excitement that only the NFL can provide. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing how things play out this season.

AFC West preview: Denver Broncos & Kansas City Chiefs 

Written by Ralph Uriarte

DENVER BRONCOS 

The Denver Broncos have had a roller coaster off-season since becoming Superbowl 50 champions, they have seen Peyton Manning retire and Brock Osweiler choose the Houston Texans over the Broncos,  C.J. Anderson almost left to the Miami Dolphins, but Denver matched the deal at the last-minute. Denver has a new starting quarterback and his name is Mark Sanchez,  the Philadelphia Eagles back up quarterback and former New York Jet, the man they call “Butt Fumble”. That is just everything that took place early in the off-season.


Broncos also drafted quarterback Paxton Lynch in the first round of the draft to be their back up quarterback. Lynch needs a lot of work and he is nowhere near NFL ready. What does that mean? Well Broncos fans it means Mark Sanchez is indeed the starter for at least one season, he is a very aggressive quarterback that can make big plays, but the biggest knock on him is his tendency to make bonehead plays such as this end zone interception last season versus Miami last season. Losing both of his two starts.

On the other side of the ball the Broncos have a very large contract issue with linebacker Von Miller who has said he will not play 2016 under the franchise tag and refuses to sign his tender. Denver submitted an offer of 114 million over 6 years with only 39.8 million guaranteed. Miller turned the deal down based on guaranteed money. The same week, Philadelphia Eagles give their defensive star Fletcher Cox a 103-million-dollar deal with 63 million guaranteed, that is the type of deal Miller wants and he will get it, if not from Denver, somebody else will pay him. 

Now that brings us to Aqib Talib, who was shot at a Dallas nightclub and was released from the hospital the following day, he suffered a minor leg injury and is expected to make a full recovery. The bullet isn’t Talib’s problem, the gun is, rumor is that he either shot himself or was armed, both do not sit well with neither NFL nor the Broncos. The NFL is currently investigating the incident and the team has yet to announce their course of action, if any against Talib.

I do not see the Broncos repeating as Superbowl champion, I don’t even see them in the playoffs, even IF Miller signs and IF Talib is found innocent, you still have Mark Sanchez as a quarterback, how did Elway ever this that was going to work?

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 

The chiefs finished the year at 11-5 last season coming back from what everyone was sure a death-blow losing Jamaal Charles, but the team fought back and finished strong, unfortunately they lost to the New England Patriots in the playoffs.

The team had a change at offensive coordinator with Doug Pederson leaving to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, Brad Childress has stepped into the role. The Chiefs continue to possess a top 10 defense lead by linebacker Justin Houston, the team finished 9th overall in points allowed per game with 17.9. Chiefs defensive end Mike Devito called it quits and retired, but the defense is still explosive, especially with the addition of 1st round pick Chris Jones who will be groomed to take over if Dontari Poe leaves the team next year in free agency. One trouble spot is safety Eric Berry who is currently in a contract hold out and will not attend mandatory mini-camp, he will not be fined though since he has not signed his franchise tender. 

The offense is led by veteran quarterback Alex Smith who threw for nearly 3500 yards with 20 touchdowns against 7 interceptions, the workhorse Jamaal Charles only player 5 games before he was injured handing the reigns over to Charchandrick West who took the bulk of the carries. The real bread and butter duo on this offense is tight end Travis Kelce, who finished with 875 yards and 5 touchdowns and wide receiver Jeremy Maclin who finished with 8 touchdowns and 1088 yards.

The Chiefs expect Jamaal Charles to make a full recovery by the start of the season and make a return to the team, what happens between now and July 15th with Eric Berry will be a large part of how this season shapes up in the end.