Rumbling towards the playoffs. Derrick Henry has been rolling for the Tennessee Titans and now they have a shot at winning the AFC South:

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Photo credit: Wesley Hitt

Author: Jon Kuzma


The Tennessee Titans have two division games left on their schedule and both of them are against the Houston Texans. If Tennessee can win each of those games they’re going to be very close to getting in the playoffs. This is the opportunity of a lifetime for a team that didn’t have a lot of hope at the beginning of the season. Yeah benching Marcus Mariota for Ryan Tannehill was huge. But we can’t overlook how good Derrick Henry has been for this team. Henry has 1,140 rushing yards this season and he’s been fundamental in the Titans three-game winning streak.


Now isn’t the time to cool off either. Henry needs to keep his foot on the gas and help Tennessee go 4-0 over this next month. With how much power Henry runs with its very possible. This guy is like a battering ram destroying anything that’s in his path. And he’s also showing a good burst for being a 238 pound ball carrier. That’s why Henry has 3 consecutive games with at least 100 yards and 6 touchdowns during that same span of time. When you’re getting that kind of production on the ground it’s so much easier to win games. The return of Taylor Lewan has certainly helped but give Henry his dues as well. There’s no stopping him when he’s in the zone. We also have to acknowledge that Henry is only 35 yards behind the NFL’s rushing leader, Nick Chubb. So there’s still a possibility that Derrick Henry could end up as the best running back in pro football for the 2019 season.

Charity of the day: Center for Biological Diversity

Go donate! www.biologicaldiversity.org

Mitchell Trubisky and the Chicago Bears were better than expected in their 31-24 triumph over the Dallas Cowboys:

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Photo credit: Jonathan Daniel

Author: Jon Kuzma


Mitchell Trubisky has been under a lot of pressure lately and rightfully so. The third year quarterback has struggled for most of the season but that wasn’t the case against the Dallas Cowboys. Chicago started the game off hot and it was because Trubisky was throwing the football extremely well. Believe it or not the Bears offense is serviceable when they get this kind of play from the quarterback position. Trubisky finished the night with 244 yards, 3 touchdowns, and, 1 interception. Plus he also made an impact with his legs like we seen him do last year. It’s the inconsistency which has held back the former Tar Heel’s development but he was dialed in against the Cowboys. Early in the game J.P Holtz got involved and gave this offense a spark. Allen Robinson also had a great night with 2 touchdowns. So Trubisky got some help from his supporting cast and it’s what has to happen if they want to compete on that side of the ball.



Chicago still needs to add another receiver opposite of Robinson but it doesn’t matter if Trubisky doesn’t play up to his potential. Tonight he carried the torch well and that’s the way it has to be from here on out. Mitchell Trubisky is on very thin ice and he’s trying to hold on to be the Chicago Bears starting quarterback job. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy are evaluating his play each week so Trubisky has to get back on track and this was a good night for him.

Charity of the day: Center for Biological Diversity

Go donate! www.biologicaldiversity.org

No stranger to success. Shaquil Barrett is reaching his full potential and it’s not surprising if you know his history:

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Photo credit: Alex Burstow

Author: Jon Kuzma


Good players help teams win Super Bowls. Which is why Shaquil Barrett got a ring with the Denver Broncos back in 2015. And if you go back before then Barrett won the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player of the Year award during his senior season at Colorado State. So when you dig into Barrett’s history he’s been a good player for most of his life but somehow he slipped through the cracks and went undrafted. Well none of that matters now because Barrett is leading the NFL with 14.5 sacks. This guy has developed a nice set of pass rushing moves and it’s helped him become a much more confident player. On film it’s amazing how far Barrett is willing to go in order to complete his mission of sacking the quarterback. He reacts instantly and his relentless pursuit took him to that next level. When Barrett is coming off the edge it’s a force to be reckoned with. And he’s the perfect match for Todd Bowles’ system. Bowls knows that Barrett’s at his best when they blitz him. So most of the plays are designed so that Barrett can play to his strengths. Other defensive players don’t have the speed and tenacity that he’s playing with right now and it’s clear that Shaq Barrett deserves to be recognized as one of the true stars of the 2019 season. Offensive linemen haven’t figured out how to block this guy and it’s causing a lot of problems. Which means Barrett will make way more money in 2020 because he’s heading into free agency this off-season. Someone will pay this man a huge salary because he can get their team off the field on third down.

Charity of the day: Children’s Defense Fund

Go donate! www.childrensdefense.org

Drew Lock showed us that he’s capable of winning in the NFL and that’s a promising sign at the start of his career:

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Photo credit: Matthew Stockman

Author: Jon Kuzma


The Denver Broncos have had quarterback problems ever since Peyton Manning retired. But they could finally have the answer in Drew Lock. The rookie got the job done against the Los Angeles Chargers and it was exactly what the Broncos have been lacking. Lock threw for 134 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception which isn’t that impressive. However this was Lock’s very first start and there’s so much room for improvement. We’ve seen other quarterbacks in the league play some of their best football in their late 30’s (Tom Brady and Drew Brees).



So when you take a look at this small sample from Lock and when you also take into consideration how bad Denver has been at quarterback. You have to feel upbeat about this situation because this could be the key to reinventing the Broncos offense. For example Courtland Sutton caught both of the touchdowns against Los Angeles and that’s certainly a step in the right direction. If these two guys can develop a rapport then there’s no telling how far this organization can go? It’s possible that Drew Lock is good enough to lead Denver back to a winning record a couple of years from now. Maybe we’ll look back and say that win over the Chargers was the turning point in the Mile High City.

Charity of the day: Children’s Defense Fund

Go donate! www.childrensdefense.org

The Kansas City Chiefs are getting healthy at the perfect time and we can’t overlook that:

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Photo credit: Jamie Squire

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Kansas City Chiefs appeared to be regressing just a couple of weeks ago. They had a 6-4 record and had tough losses against the Packers and Titans. But you have to take those stats with a grain of salt because the Chiefs have battled some injuries. The most notable was when Patrick Mahomes hurt his knee cap and missed two games. However Kansas City also lost Tyreek Hill for four weeks, Chris Jones for three weeks, and Sammy Watkins has missed a couple of games as well. Those are some of the top guys on this roster and when you take that into consideration 6-4 wasn’t too bad at all. And when Mahomes finally did return to their lineup the Chiefs started to resemble the team that they were a year ago.


They’re coming off back-to-back wins and they really clobbered the Oakland Raiders 40-9. It was a dominating win against Kansas City’s biggest threat in the AFC West. With all of these pieces coming back right before the playoffs it’s going to be exciting to see what Andy Reid can do? The record might not show it because of those injuries but this is a very dangerous football team and it’s because their offense is a juggernaut. Mahomes has all of the pieces he needs and it will be on his shoulders when it’s crunch time.

Charity of the day: Water.org

Go donate! www.water.org

Ron Rivera’s coaching record started to fall apart but he still took the Carolina Panthers to a Super Bowl and was the epitome of class:

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Photo credit: Streeter Lecka

Author: Jon Kuzma

It was a tough day if you’re a Ron Rivera fan. The Carolina Panthers decided to fire Rivera after the team dropped to a lackluster 5-7 record. The writing has been on the wall for the past two or three seasons and when David Tepper bought the Panthers in 2018 it seemed even more likely that Carolina would go in a new direction. Well today Tepper followed through with it all by letting Rivera go.


But that doesn’t change the fact that there were some high points for this organization with Rivera at the helm. Making it to Super Bowl 50 is one moment that definitely stands out. Cam Newton was playing better than ever and this franchise finished with a 15-1 record. You also have to applaud Ron Rivera and how he’s handled himself throughout the years. He’s been a high character individual and someone who’s gone above and beyond to give back his time and energy. Which is why moving on from Rivera is such a difficult decision. We’re already hearing rumors that Mike McCarthy could be the next guy in line. Apparently Tepper and McCarthy are both from Pittsburgh and there’s some common ground between the two. If an agreement between those two sides does materialize then McCarthy will have to come in and see if he can pick up where this organization is lacking. Rivera should also have some offers as well. Even if it’s as a defensive coordinator or a head coach at the collegiate level. There will be plenty of jobs out there for him.

Charity of the day: Water.org

Go donate! www.water.org

Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny dominated in the Seattle Seahawks 37-30 shootout win over the Minnesota Vikings:

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Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr.

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings would both be in the playoffs if they started today. And that’s why this week’s Monday Night Football match-up was so interesting. But once the final whistle blew it was the Seahawks who emerged victorious 37-30 and it was their running backs who stood out the most. Chris Carson carried the load like he has for the past two years for Pete Carroll’s team. Carson racked up 102 rushing yards and 1 touchdown. His burst gave the Vikings defense a ton of problems and it allowed Russell Wilson to start working his playactions and bootlegs. Seattle also got what they’ve been waiting for from Rashaad Penny.


The second year tailback was a spark plug off the bench and he had 2 touchdowns of his own. With this one-two punch the Seahawks can wear down their opponents and win games with a gritty style of play. It’s that physicality which makes them dangerous. Unless a team has an elite defense they won’t be able to stack up against this rushing attack. So expect there to be plenty of run calls the rest of the way because that seems to be one of the major strengths of this franchise right now. When Carson and Penny both have a big night they’re almost unbeatable.

Charity of the day: Bowery Residents’ Committee

Go donate! www.brc.org

Deshaun Watson outgunned Tom Brady and led the Houston Texans to a 28-22 win over the New England Patriots:

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Photo credit: Matthew Stockman

Author: Jon Kuzma

Coming into this week’s Sunday Night Football matchup all eyes were on Tom Brady and Deshaun Watson. The two quarterbacks are some of the biggest names in the National Football League and whoever had a better night would probably end up winning the game. We know now that was Watson because the Houston Texans came firing out of the gate. Houston jumped ahead to a 21-3 lead before New England started to get their act together. Kenny Stills, Darren Fells, and Duke Johnson all caught touchdowns for the Texans and that’s just too much ground to make up. Yeah New England made the score look close because of some garbage time touchdowns of their own. But the reality is they came out flat and couldn’t get much going on offense when it mattered. However Watson and company were the exact opposite.


It’s clear when the former Clemson signal caller is playing up to his potential then he creates so many problems for his opponents. Bill Belichick’s defense got shredded trying to cover DeAndre Hopkins, Will Fuller, and Stills. It didn’t matter how good Belichick’s schemes were because the Texans have better athletes. And now we know just how dangerous they can be when they put it all together. A win like this will go a long way for their confidence.

Charity of the day: Native American Rights Fund

Go donate! www.narf.org

The Los Angeles Rams playoff hopes are still alive after beating the Arizona Cardinals 34-7:

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Photo credit: Norm Hall

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Los Angeles Rams came into week 13 two games behind the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC playoff picture. Which essentially means that Los Angeles has to win out and hope that the Vikings cool off over the last five weeks. Well the good news for the Rams is they did their part by blowing out the Arizona Cardinals. Jared Goff came to play in that matchup and he threw for 424 yards in the win. Goff also finished with 2 passing touchdowns and when he throws the football like he did against Arizona this team is on another level. Todd Gurley also showed up with 95 yards and a touchdown.


Yeah the Rams are supposed to beat the Cardinals but you can see how much potential this offense has when Goff and Gurley are on their game. If those two guys can build on this momentum and find their stride down the stretch then maybe they can get lucky and win out. Their schedule isn’t going to be easy though. They play Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona, and the Cowboys. So if Los Angeles does go on a legendary run to make the postseason. You know this team will be battle tested because they’re going through the gauntlet these next four games. Therefore we’re going to get a real assessment of Sean McVay, Jared Goff, and Todd Gurley. This is their backs against the wall moment and they have to at least show they’re willing to fight it out when the going gets tough. This win over Arizona was the first step towards that.

Charity of the day: Native American Rights Fund

Go donate! www.narf.org

Taysom Hill made it clear that he’s the most versatile player in the NFL. He’s the New Orleans Saints’ Swiss Army knife:

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Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox

Author: Jon Kuzma

If there was one player who stood out in the New Orleans Saints 26-18 win over the Atlanta Falcons it was certainly Taysom Hill. The backup quarterback blocked a punt in this game and also scored two touchdowns (one rushing and one receiving). For a guy who isn’t a full-time starter Hill did a remarkable job of making an impact in this match-up. It’s unusual to see someone takeover in the ways that Hill does and it gives New Orleans a spark.


Sean Payton knows he can count on his packages for Hill to take some of pressure off of Drew Brees. The reason why it’s because it adds another wrinkle to the Saints offense and it’s another thing that opposing defenses have to prepare for. It’s so tough to beat this team when everything is clicking. Taysom Hill has earned everyone’s respect in that locker room because at the end of the day he can help New Orleans win games. Atlanta had no answer for Hill and he’s got to be confident in his abilities moving forward. At this point Taysom Hill isn’t surprised by his success. He knows how much his play can bring to this offense and Hill is expected to live up to the standard he’s set throughout his career. It actually seems like the 29 year old is still getting better too so there’s a promising outlook for Hill as we start to get ready for the playoffs.

Charity of the day: Junior Achievement USA

Go donate! www.ja.org

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