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

Each NFC West 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 West:

  1. richard-shermanSeattle Seahawks- The Seahawks have been a powerhouse in the league pretty much since Russell Wilson became the quarterback in 2012, but this year they seemed to be missing a key piece and that is before Earl Thomas went down with an injury.  It just seemed like their offense could never get it going and that their defense wasn’t as much of a juggernaut it had been in years past.  The offense had lost Marshawn Lynch to retirement over the offseason and the defense lost Bruce Irvin to free agency and the Raiders so these can explain why they didn’t see the same.  Their defense was still top 5 so their defense’s demise may have been more due to them slightly underperforming from their 4 previous seasons of leading the NFL in points allowed per game.  Their offensive problems can partially be explained by Russell Wilson being hurt for the early part of the year, but even when he was back to full health the offense didn’t seem right.  Their offense was able to have a dominant ground game when Marshawn Lynch was on the team despite the team lacking a real offensive line.  They could try to get another Marshawn Lynch, but Lynch was more of a unicorn running back that only comes along once every few generations and Thomas Rawls isn’t a terrible running back, but he needs some help.  The Seahawks tried to start improving their offensive line last year when they selected Germain Ifedi in the first round, but Ifedi was incredibly raw and he graded out as one of the worst offensive linemen in the league.  The worst part about the Seahawks’ line this year was that Ifedi wasn’t even the worst lineman to play over 600 snaps.  The only consistently above average offensive lineman they had is their center Justin Britt.  The Seahawks need to build their offensive line up if they want to look like they did in 2013, because Marshawn Lynch isn’t going to be walking through that door anytime soon.
  2.  larry-fitzgeraldArizona Cardinals- If you look at the numbers, it is hard to see what happened to the Cardinals that led to their decline from 2015.  They had the 6th best scoring offense, the 2nd best yardage defense, and they were the league leaders in both sacks and forced fumbles.  They have one of the most electrifying talents in the league on offense with David Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald led the league in receptions, and their offensive line held up adequately.  So what went wrong?  Mostly it seems like they let up too many big plays that led to scores.  They have one of the best corner backs in the league in Patrick Peterson, but across from him they didn’t really have much.  Teams were able to attack the #2 corner back with little resistance which was the Achilles heel of the defense.  If the Cardinals can get a little bit more luck next season as far as losing close games and if they get a proper #2 cornerback to compliment Peterson, they can be back to knocking on the door of the Superbowl by next season.
  3.  aaron-donaldLos Angeles Rams- In their first season back in Los Angeles since the early 1990s, some people expected the Rams to finally take a step forward into contending for a playoff spot since now they had a first overall pick quarterback on their team to go with a ferocious defensive line and one of the best young running backs in the league in Todd Gurley.  Then they started the season with their first overall pick as the third string qb and lost to the 49ers 27-0, starting of the trend for how bad the season was going to be.  The Rams were a mess all over the place, with no real offensive threat and their defense was not nearly good enough to carry them.  Now this season, they have a new young and innovative head coach in Sean McVay who brought in the legendary defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to turn the defense into one of the top defenses in the league.  So, with Sean McVay’s recent history as an offensive coordinator for the Washington Redskins, you can assume that he’d want to model his offense after the one that he had there.  To do that they will need to build up their receiving corps.  They will need to retain the services of Kenny Britt to do this correctly, but when the Rams make their first pick in the 2nd round they should take a wide receiver who can be a deep threat a la Desean Jackson.  If the resign Britt then they’ll have their Garcon in him and their Jamison Crowder in Tavon Austin, but the ability to stretch the field is the real catalyst of the offense.  Then they would just be a Jordan Reed type and a complete offense away from having the same kind of offense that McVay had in Washington that got him the job.
  4.  carlos-hydeSan Francisco 49ers- Oh boy, where to begin here?  The 49ers went into this season with incredibly low expectations with needs all over the roster and a coach and gm that were paired up in a sort of shotgun wedding.  Their roster was depleted of talent from top to bottom, spare a few good pieces such as Carlos Hyde, Deforest Buckner and Navarro Bowman.  And possibly the worst thing that could have happened to the 49ers this season was how they started it off by blowing out the Rams in a week 1 shutout victory which made some people think that they really could be something.  That was the only win they would have until they played the Rams again in week 16.  The 49ers don’t even officially have a coach yet (though many speculate that the job will go to Kyle Shanahan once his current team has played in the Superbowl), so it is hard to even know which need they’ll need to deal with first in order to start succeeding.  I honestly feel like the 49ers are currently the least talented team in the NFL so I feel like if they added a young qb now that they would end up messing up his development so I believe they should go for defense above all else and grab an edge rusher who will be able to sack the opposing qb so the team will have a better shot at staying in games defensively while they build up the rest of their roster with enough talent to eventually compete.  They are in line for a long rebuild though.

And this is the end of my team draft needs series.  You can check out all of the other articles in the series by clicking on the corresponding links below.

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/

NFC East- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/each-nfc-east-teams-biggest-draft-need/

NFC North- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/25/each-nfc-norths-biggest-draft-need/

NFC South- https://sportselite1.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/each-nfc-south-teams-biggest-draft-need/

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.

 

Why would any coach want to risk his legacy to coach for a team owned by Jed York?

Throughout the history of sports there have been teams with great ownership, such as the Krafts, Maras and Rooneys in the NFL, Mike Ilitch for the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL, William DeWitt and Hal Steinbrenner for the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Yankees respectively of the MLB, and Wyc Grousbeck and Peter Holt who own the Boston Celtics and San Antonio Spurs of the NBA.  These owners all have one thing in common with how they run their teams.  Patience.  Each and every one of these teams has been a stable atmosphere for over 10 years, with most either having the same front office and head coach/manager that they had since 2005, or they are only one of either removed from the one they had then.  There are also plenty of examples of bad ownership in sports as well and the reasons why an owner can be bad are much more numerous.  They can be too cheap when it comes to paying talent like Don Sterling was for years as the owner of the Clippers, they can be a rich person who bought the team for the revenue but who doesn’t care about the on field product like Stan Kroenke, or they can prove to be impatient and overinvolved in team decisions like how Jed York is proving to be.

York took over as the president of the 49ers in December of 2008.  Since then the team has gone through 4 head coaches since then and are now looking for their 5th.  They are also now looking for their 3rd general manager over an 8 season span.  Over that time, it looked like York was off to a strong start in hiring Scot McCloughan as his first general manager and Jim Harbaugh as his first head coaching hire, but things quickly started to turn sour.  McCloughan and the team mutually parted in the Spring of 2010 while McCloughan was dealing with alcoholism and a divorce from his wife.

After McCloughan was let go, they hired the team’s director of player personnel Trent Baalke.  Baalke’s first draft looked very good on paper with him picking all pros such as Mike Iupati and Navarro Bowman as well as starter Anthony Davis, but most of the work for the draft had been done already by McCloughan.  The team still ended up going 6-10 that season, fired head coach Mike Singletary and then they hired Jim Harbaugh.  Since then, Baalke has had 3 draft picks pan out with enough time to judge them fairly (Aldon Smith, Eric Reid, and Carlos Hyde.  So for Trent Baalke’s time in San Francisco he has had as many good draft picks as he has had drafts in control of with one of those drafts mostly laid out for him by his preceding general manager.

Now onto coach Jim Harbaugh.  It takes a really good coach to take a team that was 6-10 and had a completely different coaching staff from the year before to being 13-3 the next year.  He then had them sustain at least 12 wins for a 3-year period.  One of those years he lost his starting quarterback to injury and had to change the offense around entirely for the backup and ended up taking the team within one score of a Superbowl championship.  The next year he took his team to within one score of another Superbowl appearance.  For most franchises that kind of track record would usually give a coach some leeway, but not with the 49ers as one 8-8 season with a depleted roster and a regressing quarterback got him sent out the door and replaced with defensive line coach Jim Tomsula.  Tomsula was also the interim coach for the 49ers in 2010 after they fired Mike Singletary mid-season.  That tells me that Tomsula was seen as mostly a guy who would do as he is told by the upper management and nothing more.  That is the absolute worst type of head coach you can hire.  The job of a head coach is to make decisions on the field and he isn’t allowed to be contacted by anyone in the front office during the game (as seen when former Browns GM Ray Farmer was suspended for 4 games and the Browns were fined $250,000 for in-game text messages between the him and the coaching staff).  Tomsula being nothing more than a figurehead could only lead the 49ers, who, not by coincidence, had seen many players retire following the firing of Jim Harbaugh, to a 5-11 record.  This caused Jed York to fire the 2nd head coach in as many years and bring on Chip Kelly.  Now, some could argue that Chip Kelly wasn’t given a fair deal in Philly after one sub .500 season out of 3 years coaching, but he also alienated himself from the rest of the front office, seized control, and had the team regress under his total control.  So the best place to put him would be the place where they fired a coach for going 8-8 with a depleted roster after 3 straight years of at least making it to the conference championship game, right?  Wrong.  I am a believer that if Chip Kelly were given a situation like the Browns, was allowed a minimum of 5 years to turn them around, and was given total control from the beginning that he’d have a chance at being an ok coach in the league.  This isn’t a 5-year plan league though.  This is a league where not firing someone after 3 losing seasons means unheard of patience (besides in the world of the Jacksonville Jaguars).  So now you have Chip Kelly with a broken roster and no team control with a power-hungry general manager who will take who he wants regardless of fit or if the head coach would be able to find out how to use him.  Everyone watching saw a collapse of the 49ers into top 5 pick territory coming and so it did with only the Browns having a worse record than the 49ers.

Now, Chip Kelly and Trent Baalke are both out of a job and there is only one person left and that is Jed York.  York could have avoided this problem if he didn’t side with Baalke over Harbaugh and now he is left with the least desirable coaching job in the NFL and a record of not giving people enough time to actually build anything up before a new regime comes in to knock it down.  If I were a director of player personnel or an assistant coach in the NFL or even a college coach, I would steer clear of the 49ers and Jed York.  The only thing he will bring to the franchise unless he changes in a big way, is a long, playoff-less drought that can rival the one currently held by the Buffalo Bills (who haven’t made the playoffs since 1999).

 

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.

raiders-texans-mexico-juego-boletos-nfl

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.

 

 

Big Week, 3 Big Games!

Here we are folks Week 15 of the NFL season with one team – The Dallas Cowboys – clinching  a playoff berth and a host of others look to lock up a trip to the post season this week. Last week ended with an outstanding defensive performance from the Cowboys and Giants game and this week we should see some more exciting games with playoff implications on the line.

Detroit Lions @ New York Giants Sunday 1:00pm

16, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ... Both teams are coming off of statement wins and are looking to clench a playoff berth this Sunday with W. The Lions did what they have done all season long last week against Chicago with a 4th Q come from behind win that Stafford capped off with a 15 yard TD run and scramble to put the Lions up for good. Landon-Collins

Eli and the Giants offense have yet to put together 4 quarters of solid play instead relying on the defense and timely big plays from Odell Beckham Jr. The Lions are looking to take the NFC North with a win and the Giants are looking to keep a hold on the 5th seed in the playoffs and secure their spot. The Giants offense has no choice but to wake up (better late than never) and it needs to start this week because the last 3 games they face teams who can score. A loss on Sunday doesn’t knock either team out of the playoffs but it definitely will make things more difficult the last two weeks of the season.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Dallas Cowboys Sunday 8:30pm

Jameis Winston headed to Pro Bowl About 4-5 weeks ago this match-up would’ve looked like a small bump in the road for Dallas to easily get over on their way to the #1 seed and best team in the NFC, fast forward to now and you see two teams trending in opposite directions but not where you’d thought they would be. The Bucs have put themselves in the driver seat for the second wildcard spot in the NFC. Their defense has woken up and Winston just keeps getting better at the QB position. They’re hot right now coming off a win against Seattle and a Gritty win against Phillip Rivers and the Chargers.

Dak Prescott

Dallas on the other hand have shown signs of being stoppable. It started in week 13 against Minnesota where they struggled offensively to get anything going. A timely forced fumble by their special teams was the break they needed to escape that game. We thought it was a fluke but then they go into Metlife and their offense just goes dormant – thanks in large part to the Giants defensive performance – and now they limp back home to face a red hot surging Bucs team looking to punch their own ticket to the playoffs. Will Dallas bounce back and show people they’re still the team to beat in the NFC or will they continue to falter allowing other teams in the NFC to build momentum?

Green Bay Packers @ Chicago Bears Sunday 1:00pm

Aaron Rodgers is the Greatest Quarterback of All Time - The Sports ...  This game only has playoff implications for one team and that’s the Green Bay Packers. The Pack are currently on the outside looking in at 7 wins thanks to an uncharacteristic slow start for the first half of the season. They can’t clinch anything here today but a win would keep them in the race and give them some hope, they need a lot of help to make it but we know Aaron Rodgers will do his part to dig them out and hope everything else falls in place. Believe it or not winning in Chicago will not be an easy task, their defense is pretty solid and they will not just roll over. Matt Barkley surprisingly looks comfortable out there under center for Chicago and Green Bay’s secondary has been abysmal all season. This a a division game and the Chicago Bears, I’m sure, would love nothing more to ruin any hopes of the Packers making the playoffs.