A storied past: My top plays in Niner history over the last 29 years

 

By Niner Faithful

January 22nd, 1989, I was 2 almost 3 years old. It was Super Bowl 23 and the Niners had just defeated the Bangles to win our 3rd championship in 8 seasons. But in a game I don’t even remember, it’s what happened after the game that was important to me. I got up off my grandpa’s lap walked over to the TV pointed to Jerry Rice and said the 3 words that would forever change my life. “I Like him”. This Monday it will be 29 years since that fateful day in Almaden Valley. Over the years many things have changed but the love I feel for that same football team has not. To celebrate my 29th year anniversary as a Faithful I thought we’d go over my biggest plays in Niners History over the last 29 years.

1. The Catch II

I can remember it like it was yesterday. It looked like the Whackers were going to break my heart for the fourth year in a row when Steve Young hit TO with the game-winning touchdown with 3 seconds left. It might not have been THE CATCH but it was to me. It was my first great Niner moment that I can remember. The Moment I learned that no matter what the odds are always believe in the Red and Gold.

2. The Comeback

This one isn’t a play but its still one of the greatest feelings I have ever felt in my life. Down 38-14 to the New York Giants, Jeff Garcia leads the Niners on the greatest comeback in Niners history. I remember wearing my Steve Young jersey and running and jumping around screaming we’ll see you in Tampa when Jeff hit Tai Streets for the winning touchdown. I’ll never forget the look on all the hater’s faces when I told them IDGAF we’re coming back, and then the look on their faces when I was proven right.

3. The Catch III or The Vernon Post

2011 ended in heartbreak for anyone who bleeds Red and Gold. But that doesn’t mean that it did have its great moment. This game was great. It was the back and forth heart-stopping game that made me fall in love with not only this team but all sports. I can still hear Ted Robinson’s call on KNBR when i close my eyes. It wasn’t just the fact that we won the game. It was the feeling after, the feeling of what we all thought was going to began another dynasty.

4. The Pick at the Stick

“ It is second down Ryan takes the snap throws the slant to the left side It’s wrestled INTERCEPTED THE 49ERS PICK IT AND NAVORRO BOWMAN IS REDEMPTION, ” I think Ted Robinson’s call sums it up perfectly. It was the last game at The Stick. As we all know Bo had a chance to recover an onside kick to seal a Niners win but he didn’t. As the Falcons marched down the field you just knew somehow the Niners were not going to allow The Stick to go out like that. Not the Stick, not the place where we had won 5 championships. Where so many Niner greats had played. And in very Candlestick fashion, Bo made sure it didn’t. I still to this day shed tears anytime I watch that play.

Thank you for reading my blog please make sure to like NINER FAITHFUL RADIO on Facebook and Twitter and Tune in every Monday at 3 pm PST Here’s the link for This Monday, Jan 22nd  GO NINERS!!!!!

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Building a contender: Team needs for 2018

By Niner Faithful

2017 couldn’t have accomplished much more than it did. We found our franchise QB in Jimmy G Cool and the heart of our defense in Reuben Foster. As well as established we made the right hires in John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan. Now its up to John Lynch and co. to build on our success in 2017. The Niners still have holes on the roster that was apparent to anyone who watched Niners football in 2017. With a league-leading, $102,365,529 in cap room and 9 picks in this years draft the Niners to have plenty of ammo to fill said holes. This week I have decided to go over the team needs and a little breakdown of why I feel they are needs. So here they are in no particular order.

  1. Edge Rusher

The  Niners ranked 26th in the NFL in sacks in 2017 with 30. The team leader in sacks was 33-year-old Elvis Dumervil with 6.5. No other Niner had more than 3. That’s simply not going to get the job done. Add on top of that the team’s issues in the secondary and fixing this becomes priority number one in the offseason. They say the best friend to a secondary is a pass rush so by fixing this the Niners could help out our secondary as well.

  1. Cornerback

Lucky for the Niners Dontae Johnson is a free agent because he was god awful last year. Even when he would make a play and you thought he might have turned the corner, he would get burned or commit a stupid penalty. Now he wasn’t the only issue in the secondary. Rookie  Ahkello Witherspoon had his rookie moments but showed a lot more promise the more he played. The Niners ranked 22nd in the league allowing 3,943 passing yards. As stated above I believe that a better pass rush will help in 2018. They say the NFL is a rush and cover league so the Niners would still benefit from adding a solid corner opposite Witherspoon.

  1. Guard/ Center

I know that the Oline played better as the season went along and Brandon Fusco played with a partially torn bicep all season. But if I have to watch Daniel Kilgore get overpowered one more time I will grow my hair back out just so I can pull it out (although I do like him as a backup and the leadership he brings). With Fusco and  Kilgore being pending free agents and the uncertainty around Joshua Garnett it is key that the Niners get O linemen either in free agency, the draft or both.

  1. Wide Receiver

Although I like our Receiving core. I still feel we need a red zone threat on the outside. Someone with the body type that can win 50/50 balls. Niner receivers only had 7 touchdowns all year and no receiver had more than 2. Marquise Goodwin was our leading receiver in catches with 56 and was tied for the lead for touchdowns with 2. We all know Pierre Garcon is coming back but he will be turning 32 in August so who knows how much he has left in the tank. The Niners haven’t drafted a great receiver since T.O. in 1996. It’s time to find a young receiver that will be here for a long time.

Thank you for reading my blog please make sure to like NINER FAITHFUL RADIO on Facebook and Twitter and Tune in every Monday at 3 pm PST Here’s the link for This Monday, Jan 15th

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Saints Fans!!! Stop Thinking Brees lost it!!! Alvin Karama and Mark Ingram Helped him!!!

By Tim Crouch

Has Brees lost it? No!!! Is he the same Brees? Yes!!! Is his arm still there? Let’s look at what he has done this year compared to last.

2017 through 11 games

Regular Season
71.3 comp %
3,029 yards
16 TD
5 INT
104.1 rating

2016 Through 11 games

Regular Season
71.7 comp %
3,587 yards
26 TD
8 INT
109.2 rating

2017 through 11 games: Attempts 373

2016 through 11 games: Attempts 456

That’s 83 less attempts in 2017. I’m not saying his arm is the same, but when we needed him, he was there.  Was he part of the reason we lost vs Rams? Yes, but not the total reason. We have to look at the line and wide receivers. His stats look similar but with fewer attempts than last year during this time. He has a running game thanks to Alvin Karama and Mark Ingram. The duo has been excellent for Drew Brees. He has to be thanking Sean Payton for them.

4 Keys to victory: Niners VS Giants

By Niner Faithful

This week the Niners face off against long time playoff rival the New York Giants at Levis Stadium. Since 1982 the Niners and Giants have faced off more times in the playoffs than any other team in that time span. The Giants lead the regular season series 20-19 but in the playoffs the series is tied 4-4. Over the years some of the most memorable games in Niners history have been against the Giants. Who could forget The Comeback in 02, Ricky Watters running for an NFL playoff record 5 touchdowns in 93, the heartbreak in 2011 or Roger Craig’s fumble in 91 to end our shot at a 3 peat. Although both teams are in the middle of disappointing seasons Niners Giants games are for the most part always entertaining. With that being said here is this weeks 4 key to victory.

  1. Run the Football

The Niners are 24th in the league in rushing yards and 29th in rush attempts. Last week they only ran the ball 21 times despite having a young QB in C.J. Beathard and a patchwork offensive line that was without Joe Staley. The Giants are tied for 28th in the league in rush defense giving up 125.9 yards a game. This maybe the Niners best shot so far this year at getting the running game going. I expect to see a lot of Carlos Hyde and Matt Breida.

 

  1. Protect C.J.

Just last week alone Beathard was hit 16 times and sacked 5 times. That just cannot continue if the Niners want to keep him healthy and give Jimmy Garoppolo the time he needs to learn the playbook. No one will ever question Beathard toughness but there is only some much punishment the human body can take before it breaks down.

 

  1. Stay healthy

The Niners have 21 players on season ending IR after placing safety Jaquiski Tartt, Tight End Cole Hikutini and O linemen Gary Gilliam on IR this week. The Niners are also going to be without Tight End Gorge Kittle, Tackle Joe Staley and Trent Taylor this week. Just from a pure numbers stand point the Niners can’t afford to lose any more players. The good news is the bye week is coming up so some of the players that are hurt but not on IR should come back after the bye.

  1. Cut out negative plays

To many times this year we have seen the Niners seem to have some momentum only to have it killed by a stupid penalty, a dropped pass a running play that loses yards or a turnover. The Niners don’t have the talent to overcome self-inflicted  wounds like this. If the Niners want to win this or any other game this year we must stop this trend on both offense and defense.

The Giants are 1-7 and have packed it in for the year. They have to fly across country after destroyed last week by the Rams. I feel that this maybe our best chance all year to get our first win. GO NINERS!!!!!

Thank you for reading my blog please make sure to like NINER FAITHFUL RADIO on Facebook and Twitter and Tune in every Monday at 3pm PST Here’s the link for This Monday Nov 13th  http://tobtr.com/10385177

 

Trade for Jimmy Garoppolo sends clear message to the Empire

By Niner Faithful

Kyle Shanahan had just ended his Monday afternoon press conference when Adam Schefter broke the news – The Niners traded their 2nd round pick in 2018 to New England for backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo – With the move, the Niners did more than upgrade their roster at the most important position, they sent a clear message to not only the Niner Empire but to the rest of the NFL we are not going to accept losing! The trade apparently only took a few hours to go down (although John Lynch said that they had attempted talks with New England before the draft this year but were immediately shot down), but its impact may be felt for years to come. John Lynch is definitely not Trent Baalke. This move took guts but let’s not pretend that there is no risk to this trade. Garoppolo has only appeared in 17 games with 2 starts over four years and the pick is going to be a high 2nd, most likely top 5 of the round, and Garoppolo is a pending free agent next year, but the move had to be made. It shows that the new regime will not stand pat while we are 0-8. The last 8 games have proven that the answer at QB is not on the roster, so instead of doing the Trent Baalke thing and waiting till the draft, John Lynch was presented with an opportunity to upgrade the roster and took it. Changing the culture has been the buzz words thrown around by different people in the organization but this time I think it’s really happening. Not just this trade but the trade of Rashard Robinson to the Jets for what is rumored to be a 5th rounder. Robinson was a penalty machine this year and after getting benched and still getting two penalties on special teams it was clear the team was ready to move on and is using him as an example. If you don’t play up to the standards set by this staff you are expendable. So now here we are half way through year 1 of Shanahan and Lynch and the team is starting to take shape, however, there is much more work to be done. In the introductory press conference of Jimmy Garoppolo Shanahan came out and said the Niners believe that Jimmy is the QB of the future they didn’t say what the plan is for a new long term contract but they didn’t rule out using the franchise tag next year. There is time for all of that later the main goal is to see what we got in our new QB. The thought is that he should start in week 12 at home against the Seahawks. That would give him six games to show what he’s got. It’s not the best amount to evaluate him but enough time to see if we have something. It may be nothing and  this could blow up in our faces but one thing is clear this isn’t Trent Baalke’s Niners they are doing anything and everything to turn this around and that alone is enough to give us hope.

Week 2: @Kansas City Predictions

Hey, what’s up people, it’s Jacky, and welcome to the analysis on the Week 2 matchup between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs. Both teams had a tremendous first game, with the Chiefs defeated the reigning Super Bowl champions, the New England Patriots, 42-27. The Eagles, meanwhile, managed to take down their division rivals, the Washington Redskins, 30-17 to tie the Dallas Cowboys for first in the division. These two teams will be facing off at Kansas City at Arrowhead Stadium in Missouri. Here are the positional rankings and my prediction on the outcome (also, since the regular season has started, the rankings will be based on past performances this season and not on projections):

Out:

Eagles: Donnel Pumphrey (RB; hamstring), Ronald Darby (CB; ankle), Caleb Sturgis (K; hip), Destiny Vaeao (DL; wrist)

Chiefs: Eric Berry (S; ACL), Tamba Hali (LB; PUP) Spencer Ware (RB; LCL, PCL)

Offense:

                             Kansas City Chiefs                               Philadelphia Eagles

QB:                             Alex Smith                                            Carson Wentz

Wait, what? Alex Smith is the quarterback for the Chiefs? No way! Because when I watched the game, I clearly remember this “Alex Smith” throwing deep passes to Kareem Hunt and Tyreek Hill! What happened to the old, decision-making, cautious Alex Smith?

With his job in jeopardy due to Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes being chosen by the Chiefs in the first round, Smith had to revise his game to remain a starter. He did that by doing something that he did rarely, throw deep passes. Smith went 3/4 in passes 20 yards or longer for a total of 178 yards and 2 touchdowns. His rating on the deep ball was 156.3. In total, he had 28 completions out of 35 attempts for 368 yards, 4 touchdowns, for a 148.6 passer rating.

Wentz also had a nice first game. The second-year had some nice plays under pressure in the game against the Redskins. He went 26/39 for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also threw an interception and lost a fumble.

Smith obviously will take the quarterback position, as he had one of the best games of Week 1. He was given an 83.7 overall grade by Pro Football Focus (4th) as opposed to Wentz, who had a 70.2 overall grade (16th).

 

RB:                   Kareem Hunt                                           LeGarrette Blount

Ugh, Blount had a terrible debut with the Eagles. He had 14 attempts for 46 yards. But hey, at least he managed to get a touchdown, right, even though it was only a 1 yard receiving one. This isn’t good LeGarrette. You got destroyed by a rookie, Kareem Hunt. Now, Hunt’s game was a totally different story. The 86th overall pick in this year’s draft from Toledo didn’t get an opportunity to play until Week 4 of the preseason when Spencer Ware was injured. He started in Week 1 and his first NFL carry resulted in a lost fumble. Yikes! Well, long story short he turned that negative around and accumulated 148 rushing yards, 98 receiving yards, and 3 touchdowns (2 receiving). His total of 246 yards from scrimmage is the most yards in a debut game (breaking Lions running back Billy Sims record of 215 yards from 1980). The rookie could manipulate his routes and we even got to see him break some tackles, not to mention the fact that he’s fast. Great performance by Hunt who obviously had a better game than Blount. It will be nice to see how Hunt will do against a great front 7, but then again, the Patriots also had a good defensive line.

 

 WR 1:                 Tyreek Hill                                                 Alshon Jeffery

Now, we all know that speedster Tyreek Hill had a great first game but there is no way you can keep a straight face and say that he’s better than Alshon. Alshon suffered from tight coverage from two great defensive backs in Week 1. I’m not taking anything away from my favorite receiver Hill, though. He had 7 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown (Patriots secondary was a mess added on to the fact that he’s just way too fast). Meanwhile, Alshon only had 3 receptions for 38 yards. Hill might’ve had a better game but Alshon has more talent, as you could see from his time with the Bears.

 

WR 2:                 Chris Conley                                                Torrey Smith

Neither wide receiver really proved a lot in the 1st week. Conley had 2 receptions for 43 yards. Smith only had 1 reception for 30 yards. Career-wise, Smith obviously has the advantage. Conley had more receiving yards though so he can have the edge here.

 

Slot:               Albert Wilson                                                 Nelson Agholor

Agholor is far from proving himself to be a great receiver but his Week 1 performance was enough to make anyone think that the Eagles maybe didn’t waste a pick on him. In his first game, he had a respectable 6 receptions for 86 yards and even scored a touchdown. Wilson didn’t nearly have as good a game as Nelson, posting 5 receptions for 37 yards. I’m not sure whether Agholor will keep up his Week 1 success, but Wilson probably won’t do too well either way.

 

TE:                  Travis Kelce                                                       Zach Ertz

Both of these tight ends are on the elite end of the list. However, Kelce is higher than Ertz. Travis Kelce didn’t have a better game than Ertz, but it’s still no argument that Kelce is one of the, if not the, best tight ends in the league today. Ertz is young and is getting there but Kelce gets the edge on this.

 

O-Line:              Chiefs                                                                  Eagles

The Chiefs offensive line is average, at best. It consists of rising star Eric Fisher, Bryan Witzmann, center Mitch Morse, Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, and Mitchell Schwartz. The group is not what you would consider elite but at least they didn’t let up any sacks in Week 1. That could change, however, because of the Eagles strong defensive line.

The Eagles offensive line did pretty good in Week 1. Wentz was sacked twice but that was mostly due to the amount of time it takes for him to throw. Peters, Seumalo, Kelce, Johnson, and Brooks looked great together and Vaitai was added into the mix, too.

 

Defense:

Defensive Line:      Chiefs                                                         Eagles

I haven’t stressed enough of the importance of the Eagles’ d-line to their team. They blitzed most of the plays in the game against the Redskins. It was very effective, holding the team to only 66 rushing yards.

The Chiefs, on the other hand, will not be able to beat the Eagles with their defensive line. With former Eagle, Bennie Logan, at nose tackle; talented second-year Chris Jones; and veteran Allen Bailey. In their first game, even with the sweeping victory, the d-line didn’t do too good, giving up 124 yards and three rushing touchdowns.

 

Linebackers:         Chiefs                                                          Eagles

The Chiefs’ linebackers are absolute beasts. Veterans Justin Houston and Derrick Johnson both have 4 Pro Bowl appearances each. Young Dee Ford is a backup to star Tamba Hali, but is also not doing bad himself. Second year Ramik Wilson had 96 tackles, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble/recovery, and 1 defensive touchdown.

The Eagles also have a good linebacker core, but they are, by no means, as good as the Chiefs. Their best linebacker in Jordan Hicks, who cannot compare to future Hall of Famer Justin Houston.

 

Secondary:              Chiefs                                                          Eagles

Not only do the Eagles have a bad secondary, but the Chiefs have a really good secondary. Sure, the Green Goblin had his first interception and Malcolm Jenkins had a solid game, but the Eagles are missing their game changer, Ronald Darby. I believe that the Eagles’ secondary will struggle, especially against a tough coverage in Tyreek Hill. If Kareem Hunt continues to catch passes alongside Tyreek, it will be a disaster.

The Chiefs are missing their best defensive back, Eric Berry, due to injury. In his place will be the young Terrance Mitchell, who has been on several teams and has yet to prove himself as a big name. Last season with the Chiefs, he played in 7 games, starting 2 of them and had 19 tackles and 7 pass deflections. Chiefs fans shouldn’t worry as they still have superstar Marcus Peters, who made the Pro Bowl both times in his two year career, led the NFL in interceptions in his rookie year, and won Defensive Rookie of the Year. They also have average Ron Parker and Daniel Sorensen, who has made some big plays in his career, including 2 forced fumbles, 3 interceptions, and 1 defensive touchdown.

Special Team:

Kicker:                     Cairo Santos                                             Jake Elliot

Cairo Santos is a pretty good kicker. He’s solid and has established himself in the league. Jake Elliot was signed from the Bengals, after failing to earn the starting job against kicker Randy Bullock.

Punter:                   Dustin Colquitt                                       Donnie Jones

Dustin Colquitt punted 6 times for 262 yards and an average of 43.7 yards per punt. His longest was 59 yards. He had 3 punts land within the 20 yard line.

Donnie Jones punted 4 times for 170 yards and an average of 42.5 yards per punt. His longest was 50 yards. He had 1 punt land within the 20 yard line.

Return Specialists:  Chiefs                                                        Eagles

The Chiefs’ return specialists are Tyreek Hill and De’Anthony Thomas. Hill is extremely fast and has a total of 976 yards in returns as well as 3 touchdowns.

 

Both teams are talented in their own way and it will be a tough matchup. The Eagles have yet to prove themselves, while the Chiefs were a playoff team last year. If the Eagles can beat the Chiefs, it shows that they are, in fact, improved from last season and signs that they may do well.

Result: Chiefs win; close game though

The game will take place tomorrow, Sunday, September 17, at 1:00 pm ET (12 noon CT). It will be broadcasted on FOX and will take place at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. Don’t miss it, because I won’t.

Thanks for reading this article, I really hoped you enjoyed it. Make sure to stay on the alert for the results of this game and next week’s prediction. Later!

 

Best Games in Week 1 and Who Wins!

By Lawrence Edwards

Alright folks it’s that great time of the year again… FOOTBALL IS BACK and we are kicking things off with a great matchup Thursday night when the defending champs take on the Kansas City Chiefs in Foxborough. Today I’m picking what I believe to be the best match ups slated to kick off the season. So let’s start predicting!

Riding high off an improbable yet amazing comeback win in Super Bowl 51 – a game that I’m sure left Falcons players and fans feeling like they were hit with the black plague – the Patriots are looking to catch up to the Steelers as they kick off the 2017 season taking on a formidable foe. The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off their 2016 season with their own come from behind win against the San Diego Chargers and went on the finish the season with a 12-4 record. There are some in Chief land who still don’t believe in Alex Smith, well that’s the problem, your belief should be in Andy Reid’s offense. For all his game managing ways, Alex Smith has a pretty good defense with him and last year’s YAC leader Travis Kelce. Last season Travis Kelce finished with 85 receptions for over 1100 yards and 4 TDS. The most surprising number… He was targeted 117 times. Although he wasn’t much of a target threat, gone is Jeremy Maclin on the outside which opens the door for an even bigger opportunity for Kelce. This game should be great; the Chiefs would love to begin their journey to dethrone New England with a win on the road. Gronk vs. Kelce TD celebration battle should be good to watch too. The Chiefs have playmakers and we know Andy loves to feed them, but even with the ability of Kelce, Hill and rookie up and coming RB Kareem Hunt, I don’t see Bill and Tom losing a home opener fresh off a statement SB win.

Chiefs 24 Pats 34

Russell Wilson is healthy, Jordy Nelson is Healthy and Aaron Rodgers is still great… Sprinkle in a little Eddie Lacey revenge and you have all the ingredients for game to be remembered. Russell Wilson suffered from an injury plagued and banged up season last year, yet he still helped his team continue their dominance over the NFC West and keep their playoff streak alive. Despite still getting in the playoffs, The Seahawks were knocked off in the divisional round by last year’s runner up Atlanta Falcons. The Packers had an up and down season (by their standards up and down is still good with Rodgers) in 2016. They dealt with mediocre production from the running game during the first half of the season and were staring at a 4-6 record with 6 games left to go and Detroit and Minnesota looking to keep them out of the playoffs (which doesn’t happen). Then it happened Rodgers spoke “I feel like we can run the table” once Ty Montgomery took over for Lacey it provided a little spark to go with Rodgers words and they did exactly that. A-Rod ripped off an impressive 15TDs and 0 INTs the last 6 games of the season. Ty Montgomery, a former WR, was converted to RB mid-season and showed great promise. He became a pretty good weapon for A-Rod out of the backfield and not to mention Rodgers had a healthy Jordy Nelson. The Pack would go on to knock off two NFC East contenders in the Giants and Cowboys. They were also knocked by last year’s runner up, however in the NFC Championship game. Bottom line, both of these teams are looking to add some more hardware to their trophy cases and both have dynamic offenses and quarterbacks. Had this game been in Seattle I would have went with Seattle here, but I can’t go against the magic man Rodgers on his home turf!

SEA 28 GB 34

Yea most fans in Giants and Cowboys nation are probably tired of seeing these two teams face off every year in Dallas in week 1… IT’S GETTING REPETITIVE GUYS… But who can blame them this time after the way these two faced off and overall performed last season. Basically I can see why they decided to match them up again in week 1 this season. Tony Romo goes down in comes a rookie QB and a rookie RB to try and lead Dallas back to the post…Not going to happen! pfft WRONG! Not only did Dallas make the playoffs they were the best team in the entire NFL last year during the regular season, that’s right even better than your current champs up north in New England. I mean with that offensive line no one expected a disastrous output like the one they had with Matt Cassell in 2015, I mean come on it was Matt Cassell. However I’m sure not one soul expected the 13-3 finish and no.1 seed in the NFC and best record in the NFL, well maybe Dallas fans did. Keep in mind only two of those losses, both from their current opponent – more on that later- were legit. That 3rd loss came when positioning was already locked up and starters resting, had it not been for those pesky Giants may Dallas fans would be bragging about an undefeated season last year… bullet dodged for non-Dallas fans… Despite all their regular season magic and, what I believe was Dak Prescott’s best performance to date to mount a comeback for Dallas against Green Bay in the playoffs, Dallas went 1 and done. Now for the Giants they finished with an impressive 11-5 record thanks in most part to the defense which went from butt to what! No one saw the Giants D having the type of season they did last year finishing 10th in overall defense. The offense, however, took a few steps back from what we saw during Ben McAdoo’s first two seasons as OC. It was mainly due to the O-line and the Giants predictable play calling. So far during the preseason the O-line has shown some improvement. At this point any improvement is good news to Giants fans. To battle some of the woes the Giants use a quick strike offense which helps eliminate pressure. The Giants have the kind of defense that just any improvement on the line to allow Eli and company to work could get them back to the playoffs a 2nd time under McAdoo. Odell’s status is still up in the air for this game but I expect him to play based off how Ben has been about the situation. This game won’t break any scoring records. Based off the way last season went, I’m giving this one to the Giants. The offense will do just enough to pull out the win in a close one with the defense being the stars of the show again.

NYG 20 DAL 17

Of all the games being played on Sunday, this one is my favorite. We get to watch two quarterbacks who are the future of the NFL face off. Last year both of these teams had their teams in the playoff picture late in the season but only one made it. Both teams also lost their starting QB’s at the end of the season to a broken leg; this hurt the Raiders the most. Raider nation was riding a huge high after making the playoffs for the first time since their 2002 SuperBowl loss to the Tampa Buccaneers. Only problem was, after leading them to the water, Derek Carr was not there to help them drink. The playoff berth was bitter/sweet (much more on the bitter side) with the loss of Carr. Before that some had pegged Oakland as a potential threat to the Patriots last season, with him being back healthy and new addition Marshawn Lynch the Raiders are looking to make that “potential” threat to an actual promise. The Titans had their playoff destiny in their own hands going into a game many expected them win against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Murphy’s Law was in play that game, Mariotta when 8-20 for 99 yards and 1TD before breaking his leg after being sacked by Sheldon Day in the 3rd quarter. The Titans lost the 38-17 and lost their starting QB for the season. They needed a massive amount of help to make postseason, which did not happen, even had it did, they would’ve been in same situation as the Raiders. Both of these teams are similar to me. They both have solid up and coming young QB’s, pretty good WR groups, good backfields, although the Titans have a huge leg up on them with the combo of Murray and Henry, outstanding offensive lines and both have playmakers on defense in Jurell Casey and Brian Orakpo for the Titans and Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin for the Raiders. They both are susceptible to the pass though, so this game could turn into a shootout between these two young QB’s. I want to go with the Raiders here but I think Tennessee takes a huge step forward this season and that leg up in the running game will help Tennessee secure the victory here.

OAK 31 TENN 34

 

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