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

Big win for the Redskins as Jonathan Allen Drops to #17

By John Moore


Jonathan Allen Drops to #17, Big win for the Redskins

As a die-hard Redskins fan, I never thought (prayed) that Jonathan Allen would fall as far back in the draft like he did. I wanted him last year when he declared for the 2016 draft but later went back to finish college.  The arrival of Allen is a sweet homecoming for the former Crimson Tide who grew up playing High School football just five miles from Redskins Park in Ashburn, and was also a Redskins fan. He admitted that when the Redskins appeared on the board to pick, he was hoping that Washington would be the one to get him on the stage with a No. 1 jersey.

Allen isn’t the rusher who screams off the edge, but he is a pass rush threat due to his powerful hands, giving himself opportunities while reading the ball. The Alabama starter played in a 3-4 base defense and lined up all over the line. Playing mainly as a base end before pushing inside on passing downs. He turns speed to power with body control and contact stability while also showing the ability to cut through gaps and beat blockers. Similar to how the Seattle Seahawks use Michael Bennett. Allen is one of the most talented prospects in the 2017 draft class and deserved a top-three overall consideration.

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The Redskins dealt with defensive struggles that last two seasons. The unit ranked 28th in 2016, allowing 378 yards per game. It struggled against the run (24th) and the pass (25th). Allen’s selection represents a concrete step forward within the team. They have taken a step in the right direction with this pick. Allen will be paired with the two free agent defensive tackles the Redskins signed during free agency, Terrell McClain and Stacy McGee, which was a total overhaul of the defensive line, don’t forget Zach Brown as well. To be able to see Allen line up with Kerrigan, Brown, McClain and, if healthy, Galette on the line and Breeland, Norman, Cravens and Swearinger in the backfield, I believe this is a big improvement on defense that fans have been asking for, for years.

Now that he’s in the NFL, Allen hopes to create his own legacy, but he’ll closely watch some of the top players to see how they attack opponents. Notably Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. “For me, my motivation is to prove why the Redskins were right and smart for drafting me,” Allen said. “That’s going to be my motivation. So, I mean, it’s definitely going to sit in the back of my mind, but I have a job and I have a business to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.” Jonathan Allen will be wearing the #95 this coming season.

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Bragging Rights: The Dallas Cowboys season ended, but the World did not.

William Stevenson

*Music accompaniment: “When It’s Over” by Sugar Ray*

So it’s all over. No more positive memes, “We can beat anybody”, or any other fanatic rhetoric that takes place when your team is in the playoffs. There is no solace or perspective to be had when your team is on the losing end of a playoff loss. Most adversaries come from fans whose teams watched the playoffs as we all did. We spend so much time fighting off the “L’s” and trolling that we don’t take the time to look back at the season for any positive reflection. Only one team can be crowned champion at the end of the year, and with the NFL having a one-and-done playoff scenario, there can be no off-games.

In the case of the Dallas Cowboys, we fully expected them to make it to the NFC Title Game at the least. The Cowboys were having a dream season in which their rookie quarterback and running back were surpassing the expectations that most rookies would have on a high-profiled team. After Tony Romo went down early, Dak Prescott was looked at to be the “Alex Smith” or “Chad Pennington” for the Cowboys offense. The offensive line took control as the Cowboys wore down defenses week in and week out behind the running of rookie Ezekiel Elliot. Things were riding high with each win, but the question remained, “Can Prescott and the offense pass their way out when the time comes?” With each 17 for 25, 221 yard game, the rumblings of Tony Romo echoed throughout the media as Dez Bryant was relegated to an average receiver by his standards, but the Cowboys kept on winning. Overshadowed by the glamour positions was the Cowboys defense. During the offseason and training camp, the defensive front-seven was plagued by injuries and suspensions. With a secondary that was lacking playmaplaymakers, it was felt the defense would struggle mightily. With an offense that was run-based and efficient with protecting the ball, the defense was able to pin their ears back and not be put in positions to always have to cause turnovers to be effective. Even when the Cowboys gave the fans and media wins, there seemed to be a longing for more; which would be a high octane passing game. Against the Packers, the Cowboys showed their true promise. They were tested like we all thought they would be, and they were in the perfect position to prove all of the doubters to be wrong. I suppose we can nit-pick the decision to clock the ball on first down, or go man coverage on those final defensive drives; But Why? It was a hard fought game between these two games and Aaron Rodgers and their offense won it in the end on a pass that seemed improbable to complete at that point in time. Just as Eli Manning’s pass to Mario Manningham down the sideline against the Patriots or the muffed punt by 49ers return guy against the Giants: Sometimes the other team beats you and there’s not too much you can do about it.

We know the playoff numbers, we know the Divisional Playoff record when having a bye, and we know the heartbreaking losses the Cowboys have suffered over the past few years. So what’s next? A healthy Dez Bryant would be refreshing. A dominant offensive line seems to be in order for next year as well. The receiving core is in tact, and all fans are expecting the playbook to become more explosive as Prescott adds reps and this season’s experience to his repertoire. What about Jerry Jones? Jones is, and will be the wildcard for this franchise. Will he and the fanbase be happy with this year instead of focusing on the results? Will they be inclined to build their defense through the draft or will they put that “Cowboys Glitter” on the free agent market? Only time will tell, but time has told us that the NFL waits for no one team. For every Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots, there’s a Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinal season lurking around the corner.

Hey Cowboys fan, be happy. Be happy that for the first time in a few years the quarterback position has upside instead on injury risk. Be happy that the running back isn’t a late-twenties free-agent to be. Be happy the defense isn’t aging and can improve. Be happy you aren’t the Giants and have an aging quarterback or a coach with a porn-stache. Be happy you aren’t the Eagles and are trying to replace player personnel that was wrecked by the previous regime. Be happy you aren’t the Washington franchise and have to pay your average quarterback 20+ million a year, or have a coach the still seems like he doesn’t grasp post-game interviews.

What I’m really saying is: Be happy you did better than the Giants, Eagles, and Washington. That’s what you wanted right? Bragging rights.

Each NFC East Team’s Biggest Draft Need

By Leo Silbert

It is getting to the point of the year that fans are trying to figure out who their team needs to draft or what position needs the most help.  Some teams like the Patriots don’t have a glaring need so they are able to pick for desire and are allowed greater risks.  Other teams like the Browns have needs all over the map so they are best suited to just take the best available player.  I’m going to sort this out by division and within the divisions I’ll sort them by 2016 records.

Next up, the NFC East:

  1. ezekiel-elliotDallas Cowboys- The Cowboys put together a season that seemed to have come right outside of a movie script.  The veteran qb goes down with an injury and it is up to a couple of hotshot rookies to keep the team afloat until the star veteran could return.  Except, the veteran never returned and not because of his injury being too severe, the hotshot rookies were on a roll and looked unstoppable.  They seemed to be taking the team over in the same kind of way that Kurt Warner and Marshall Faulk took over the Rams in their first years starting on the team, except Zeke and Dak were true rookies.  That was all until the team got to the playoffs and lost to Aaron Rodgers and the Packers in their first playoff game.  Now it is time for them to find their flaws and the biggest one is their ability to rush the passer consistently on defense.  They might not be in this position where their biggest need is at this position if Randy Gregory didn’t end up becoming a head case, but it is where they are now.  And this draft, besides just being a deep edge rusher draft is also a draft where a late first round prospect at edge rusher plays for a Lovie Smith in college who runs the same defense as Rod Marinelli with a lot of the same terminology in Dawuane Smoot out of Illinois.  Dallas really is building something special here, and once they get a consistent pass rush, they can potentially advance to the next round of the playoffs.
  2. landon-collinsNew York Giants- Going into the season, most Giants fans expected the Giants to have the most explosive offense in the NFC East and one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL while their defense would be improved from the worst ranked defense in the league but not being anything special.  And that right there is why the games are played.  The Giants’ defense turned into one of the very best units in the NFL with all 3 of their big free agent acquisitions proving their worth, a 2nd year pro at safety going from looking lost in coverage into arguably the best safety in the NFL, and strong showings from multiple rookies.  So yea, for now the Giants’ biggest need isn’t on that side of the ball.  Their offense on the other hand looked like it was a Ferrari parked in a garage and not moving because no one knew where the keys were.  There wasn’t a 100 yard rushing effort by a running back until week 17, Victor Cruz couldn’t get separation on the outside, Eli Manning was missing some throws, the tight ends looked like they had anchors strapped to their feet after the catch, but most importantly was that the Giants had some of, if not the very worst offensive tackle play on both sides of offensive line in the NFL.  Eli Manning threw the ball sooner after the snap than any other quarterback in the league yet he was still constantly under pressure.  Ereck Flowers and Bobby Hart are not good enough to be starting tackles in the NFL, and their inability effected how every other person on the offense struggled.  Now, I have said before that this draft is a weak offensive tackle draft, but late in the first round is where a team can actually get value at the position in this year’s draft.  If the Giants can fix their offensive tackle problems, they may be able to find the keys to the Odell Beckham Jr lead Ferrari.
  3. trent-williamsWashington Redskins- Coming off their first playoff appearance since 2012, the Redskins had high expectations for this past season.  On offense, they had some of the most yards in the league behind Kirk Cousins throwing for over 4900 yards and a receiving corps that ran deep with 2 great receiving threats at tight end.  They had a very good offensive line and they had a developing running back in Robert Kelly who can stand to have a change of pace backfield mate.  Their defense on the other hand needs some help.  They were the worst team in the NFL in 3rd down defense, allowing 46.63% of all third downs to become first downs.  By comparison, the Buccaneers who were first in the NFL in that category allowed just 34..36% of third downs to be converted.  That big of a difference is unacceptable and something needs to be done to fix that.  One thing that would help them greatly is an inside linebacker who can go out in coverage and stop the run equally well.  Mason Foster was adequate at that, but he doesn’t have sideline to sideline speed and none of the other linebackers on the roster have that kind of skill since Su’a Cravens will be moved to strong safety which will help that position.  If the Redskins get a speedy linebacker to compliment Foster, they will be a lot closer to having a competitive defense.
  4. NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Philadelphia EaglesPhiladelphia Eagles- The Eagles came into the year with a rookie qb pegged as the starter after they traded away Sam Bradford with little time before the start of the season.  Carson Wentz started out fast but slowed down as the season went on.  They also switched to a new scheme on defense, switching to a 4-3 wide nine scheme from a 3-4 two gap system and for the front 7 it worked out wonderfully.  Brandon Graham had a career year, Fletcher Cox lived up to his contract, Jordan Hicks and Nigel Bradham were great at linebacker, and in the secondary Malcolm Jenkins showed how he is a top 5 safety.  But both their offense and defense had an Achilles heel.  For the offense it was their wide receiving corps which was one of the worst in the league with only Jordan Matthews playing at a passable level on offense while on defense their best corner back  was Leodis McKelvin who isn’t good enough to be a top 2 corner on most teams in the NFL.  According to Pro Football Focus they had the lowest ranked receiver in the NFL in Nelson Agholar and the lowest ranked corner in the NFL in Jalen Mills.  Both of these positions are in dire need of help, but their receivers need to improve to help the development of Carson Wentz.  If they get a good wide receiver, they may be able to help Carson Wentz into not having a near 1:1 touchdown to interception ratio in his 2nd year and may make the Eagles’ offense into a more serious threat across the board.

Previous articles in this series:

AFC East- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/each-afc-east-teams-biggest-draft-need/

AFC North- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/15/each-afc-north-teams-biggest-draft-need/

AFC South- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/each-afc-south-teams-biggest-draft-need/

AFC West- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/16/each-afc-south-teams-biggest-draft-need-2/

Divisional Round Predictions

By Billy Clemmons 

I made this my first game because on paper it’s a total mismatch. I really give Houston little or no chance to beat the mighty Patriots playing at home, even though though the  Texans come in with the leagues best defense. The quarterback position for the Texans has been a big disappointment this year and I expect no more from the Texans than to just show up and go home. I could be wrong my prediction is Patriots 34 Texans 17

Now this is a game to get excited about. The Chiefs have been playing great football for most of the year and they are at home. Alex Smith has had a good season but the Chiefs are lead by defense. The Pittsburgh Steelers were the team we all thought would challenge the Patriots for this years “team to beat” but after Big Ben went down with an injury people began having doubts. Fortunately for Steelers fans they picked it back up and are a very dangerous team capable of beating anyone. With the three B’s I’m taking the Steelers I could be wrong but my prediction is Steelers 27 Chiefs 20

So we know Matt Ryan hasn’t really done well in playoffs past but I think this year they break the trend. The defense isn’t that great but they have a few up and coming stars I believe that could be the difference this year.

Seattle has been losing players over the years. The defense is still well respected and plays well but at times just isn’t what it used to be. The Seahawks have struggled offensively this year with the offensive line and the run game. Russell and the defense will still make this a competitive game but in the end the Falcons have to much fire power. I could be wrong but my prediction: Atlanta 31 Seattle 24

The Cowboys, as we all know, have been led this season by two rookies to the best record in the NFL with a bend but don’t break defense that has surprised even the fans this year. To me this is the hardest game to predict since they have already beaten the Packers this year. With a Packers team and a red hot Aaron Rodgers I expect this to be another high scoring game. I think these teams match up well and the outcome could very well come down to the last play of the game. I could be wrong my prediction: Cowboys 34 Packers 31

 

Wild Wilcard Weekend: Home teams stand strong

By Lawrence Edwards

What a weekend huh? If you had a horse in this race you either woke this morning smiling from ear to ear or you woke up with a real life crying Jordan face… especially Giants fans, womp womp… Anyway in what was a disaster for the visiting teams this week were dominant performances by all 4 home teams on wild card weekend.

Brock Osweiller won the battle of the backup QB (sorry Brock) and he didn’t look too bad doing it. He went 14 of 14 for 168 yards with 1 TD and did just enough to keep the lead while Houston’s #1 ranked defense made life miserable for Conor Cook, which started by Jadaveon Clowney – who’s started to show why he was a #1 overall pick since he’s been healthy – tipped a pass to himself to set up Houston in the redzone which Lamar Miller made Oakland pay for on the very next play, setting the tone for what would be a dominant performance from Houston’s defense. Osweiller showed accuracy in this game, something that he hasn’t been able to do all season. Houston survived another day and left Oakland fans wondering what could’ve been if only… Welp, next up for Houston, Tom Brady…It was fun while it lasted Texans fans

Not going to lie, coming into this game I thought Detroit had a shot at the upset here based off how well Stafford and the offense has played and how up and down the Seahawks season has been, but this was Seattle at home and upsetting them there is no easy task. Detroit moved the ball early and had plenty opportunity to change the dynamic of the game only if those early FG trips were TD’s instead. Letting Seattle hang around proved costly as Rawls had his best game of the season and Russ and Baldwin in sync led to a 26-6 rout.

What I thought would be a close game based off what happened in the regular season between these two turned out to be a show off game for Antonio Brown and LeVeon Bell, who finished with two TD’s apiece on their way to a rout of the Miami Dolphins. Jay Ajayi was completely shut down and Pittsburgh’s defense made life miserable for Matt Moore, when the Dolphins showed signs of life and getting back into the game Brandon Albert whiffed on a block that got Matt Moore absolutely destroyed to force a fumble and suck any life left in the Dolphins right out of them. Pitt vs KC will be a great match up next week, Marcus Peters vs Antonio Brown will be a great battle to watch.

Wildcard weekend ended with the Packers beating the Giants 38-13. The game started out just how the Giants would have hoped, the defense was hitting and sacking Rodgers and shutting down their passing and running game and Eli was playing well and making good throws, there’s only one problem, the WR’s left their hands in Miami. Odell Beckham dropped a sure TD on the Giants second drive of the game that could’ve set a different tone to the game, on the very next play Sterling Shepard dropped another would be TD in the same part of the endzone leading the Giants to only 3 points. The Giants would hold GB to zero for the first quarter and half and hold a 6 point lead. But it’s only a matter of time before Rodgers breaks his chains if the opposing offense can’t reward the defense with points. For the great 1st half the Giants defense played they finally broke late in the 3rd. Even after a Green Bay failed 4th down conversion gave the Giants momentum on a quick TD from Eli to Tavarres King, Rodgers was already hot and took the Pack on a scoring drive to make up for McCarthy’s decision earlier in the quarter to go for it to put the game out of reach for good.

The home teams outscored the visitors 121-45 making it a bad weekend to not have won your division this season, maybe next year fellas! If your team survived this week or had a bye, then you get to rub it in the faces of your rivals for at least another week.

 

Well Hello Playoffs!: Wild Card Weekend

BY LAWRENCE EDWARDS

Week 17 ended in great fashion with an exciting finish with the Green Bay Packers taking on the Detroit Lions in the Motor City. The end of that game would determine who gets a home game against the Giants and who has to travel to Seattle to face the Seahawks and their 12th man. The Packers defeated the Lions last night 31-24 off of 4 Aaron Rodgers passing TD’s. That set the stage for a Giants @ Green Bay and Detroit @ Seattle NFC wild card weekend. This years playoffs should be very exciting as we have a few new faces to the party. The Raiders, Dolphins, Giants, Cowboys and Texans all missed the playoffs last season with everyone except the Cowboys and Detroit missing multiple years straight.

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We kick things off this Saturday with Oakland traveling to Houston to take on the Texans and. The Oakland Raiders have had an outstanding regular season full of joy they haven’t experienced in over a decade, but it came at detrimental price. An MVP candidate before the injury, Derek Carr was playing some great football for the silver and black before breaking his fibula last week against the Colts. The Raiders have an OK backup QB in Matt McGloin but I’m sure losing Carr hit all the way to the soul. However, there is a silver lining for the Raiders this week, at least they don’t have to face a QB who could make it hard for the backup QB to keep up with scoring. Oakland’s defense will try to take advantage of the below average QB play from the Texans. Tom Savage is better than Brock and clearly more accurate but he isn’t a QB that would strike fear in you. Even with McGloin under center the Raiders have the better more proven QB heading into this game and if Tom Savage can’t get the job done I’m sure they have nothing to fear if Brock enters the game. Oakland will need to take advantage of a beatable opponent to at least advance to the divisional round. It won’t be easy however, they take on a Houston defense that ranks 2nd against the pass and 1st overall in total defense.

Seattle Seahawks vs Detriot Lions: How to Stream MNF

The Lions took the L to the Packers last night so they get to go face Seattle in Seattle, yikes! But not so fast, like we have seen all season the Seahawks aren’t exactly that team that strikes fear into their opponents like they used to do. First season without future hall of famer Marshawn Lynch in the backfield saw Russ struggle to run the ball like he usually does and somewhat saw the offense sputter at times and the defense has shown they can be beaten and give up points. This should be a great game here, The Lions offense can score with the best of them and they have plenty weapons to hurt Seattle, one of them being a former Seahawk, Golden Tate. I expect Seattle to do what they do best at home in the playoffs but I would not count out Detroit who could still be in the game in the 4th quarter. I do believe this game can go either way, a blowout win by Seattle, or a nail biter, whoever has the last possession type of game (which I am leaning closer to thinking will happen) Because the way Seattle has been playing up and down all season I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw an upset on Saturday night, a huge upset.

Report: Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi Needed X-Rays Following Loss To Patriots ...

The Dolphins have shown everyone around the league why it is an outstanding idea to have a backup QB who can play just like or better than your starter. Tannehill was lost for the season with a knee injury after what has been a successful year for Miami. Matt Moore has been around the league for a long time and he has been with the Dolphins for the past 4 seasons. He was signed by Dallas in 2007 as an undrafted FA before spending 4 seasons with Carolina. Out of anyone currently in the playoffs – except for Dallas of course – The Dolphins may have the best backup QB situation in the playoffs. Your starter goes out and your backup comes in the Jets game to relieve you and throws 4 TDs. Then he goes to Buffalo and throws for 2 more in that W and threw another 2 TD’s with an overall solid performance yesterday against a very good New England defense. It’s a good sigh when your backup can play the final 3 games against division opponents and go 2-1 in that stretch. That being said, this game against Pittsburgh will be a great one and closer than anyone thinks. Remember the last time these two teams played? Jay Ajayi does, he killed Pittsburgh’s defense with 204 rushing yards. If the Dolphins want to pull off this upset against the Steelers, they will need Jay Ajayi to get going early and open things up for Matt Moore and the passing game and they will have a shot, however they also have to try and slow down Bell and AB because I’m sure the Steelers didn’t forget week 5 either and they will be looking for redemption.

Preview: Packers vs. Giants – PACKERS NOTES

Wild Card weekend will conclude with the Giants taking on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau. Everyone is saying “You don’t want to see Aaron Rodgers and the Pack in the playoffs” or “You don’t want to see the Giants defense in the playoffs” Well this week Aaron Rodgers gets to see the Giants defense and the Giants defense gets to see Aaron Rodgers, who prevails? This should be a great game, the Giants and Eli Manning are certainly no strangers to going into the “Frozen Tundra” in the post season and coming out victorious, they did it twice, once against Brett Favre and once against Bad Man Aaron and both lead to Superbowl wins, however for how great the defense has been the offense has been, well, meh… The Giants are the fist team since the 94 Chicago Bears to get at least 10 wins and in the post without one single 30 point game. If the Giants want to win then the defense will have to set the tone early and the Eli and the O will have to reward them by putting up points whenever they have the chance. Unlike other QB’s, if you don’t score enough and let Aaron Rodgers hang around long enough, he will do what he does best and find a way to rip the carpet right out from under your feet, this will make for a good game, playoff games between these two lately have been fun to watch.