Michael Crabtree catches a game winning touchdown with no time left on the clock to help the Raiders knock off the Chiefs 31-30:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Thursday Night Football was full of action this week as the Oakland Raiders defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-30. Michael Crabtree caught the game winning touchdown with no time left on the clock to seal the win for Oakland. The game was actually extended two plays beyond regulation because of back to back penalties but when the clouds and the dust settled the Raiders stood victorious. Derek Carr had a brilliant performance for the Silver and Black recording 417 passing yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions in the win. DeAndre Washington was Oakland’s leading rusher, he finished the contest with 33 rushing yards and 1 rushing touchdown. Amari Cooper finally got in a rhythm and hauled in 210 yards and 2 touchdowns. Cooper was the lifeblood for the Raiders early on in this match and this big performance will be huge for his confidence moving forward. Alex Smith threw for 342 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions in the Chiefs losing effort. Kareem Hunt ran hard rushing for 87 yards on the ground. Tyreek Hill had a big day through the air contributing 125 yards and 1 touchdown for Andy Reid’s team. While Travis Kelce was his usual self putting up 33 yards and 1 touchdown. On the defensive side of things Navorro Bowman was the Raiders leading tackler after only being a member of the team for 3 days, Bowman put together an 11 tackle showing. Reggie Nelson managed to rack up 8 tackles for Oakland’s defense too. Daniel Sorensen had a team high 9 tackles for Kansas City. Terrance Mitchell ended up making 7 defensive stops as well. This was one of the best football games that has been played this year. There was nonstop back and fourth action which was very exciting to watch. Give credit to the Raiders for persevering against a very tough Chiefs team. Oakland now will have a chance to salvage their season.

Charity of the day: Government Accountability Project

Go donate! www.whistleblower.org

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Back against the wall: The Dallas Cowboys have a 2-3 record and Ezekiel Elliott is on the verge of suspension

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Just last year the Dallas Cowboys finished with a 13-3 record but Dallas has already fallen to 2-3 in 2017. That has to have Jerry Jones nervous nearing the halfway point of the season and things could get even worse if Ezekiel Elliott ends up serving a six game suspension. While Elliott has been effective rushing for 393 yards so far, the offense should be able to survive during Elliott’s absence. Truthfully the weak point of the Cowboys has been the team’s defense over the first six weeks. The secondary hasn’t been very good ranking 16th in the league with 221 yards surrendered per game. As mediocre as that is the run defense has been even worse stumbling to a 22nd ranking giving up 118 yards on the ground each game. One of the most fundamental concepts of football is being able to stop other team’s rushing attacks and to be honest the Cowboys haven’t been able to do so. Somehow Jason Garrett will have to find a solution to that problem and it has to happen quickly because right now this is a losing football team. Dak Prescott will have even more weight on his shoulders when Elliott ends up serving his suspension. One thing which will go a long way in helping Prescott out is putting a functioning defense on the field. Whether that’s by following Dez Bryant’s advice and calling up Darrelle Revis or by making a trade before the deadline comes up. Something must happen in order to make this team more competitive on defense, otherwise you can kiss this season goodbye and compete with the Redskins for second place in the NFC East. Defense is the only thing which will help Dallas put together a win streak and get back to the postseason. However with how things have been going up to this point it’s hard to believe that fix is coming.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center 

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Kirk Cousins’ 106.4 passer rating has the Redskins sitting at 3-2 for the season, Washington is looking to make a run in the NFC East:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Kirk Cousins has been pretty special for the Washington Redskins this year putting up a 106.4 passer rating. Cousins has earned that great rating by throwing for 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions which has Washington playing winning football this season. With Dallas struggling and the Giants completely in disarray that opens the door for Washington to make a push in this division. Right now the Eagles are the team to beat however with a 5-1 record. Washington plays Philadelphia this weekend so a win go a long way in shifting the momentum in the Redskins favor. Kirk Cousins has to play his A game in order to beat Philly because right now the Eagles are as good as anyone in the league. If Cousins can light up Jim Schwartz’ defense there’s no telling what can happen, it won’t be easy to do but then again the Redskins do have some explosive players. Chris Thompson has been great catching the ball out of the backfield for Washington’s offense. While Josh Doctson has started to carve out a role with this team hauling in two touchdowns receptions so far. If Cousins can also get Terrelle Pryor involved it be huge for the Redskins scoring chances. It’s going to take a lot of offensive output to beat the Eagles because Carson Wentz has a ton of weapons in his arsenal. Truthfully it’s going to be tough for most teams to beat Philadelphia but the Redskins can win by playing mistake free football and with good quarterback play. Keep an eye on whether Kirk Cousins can outplay Wentz in the head to head quarterback battle? Cousins has much more experience than Wentz does and he has to play at a level above the sophomore gunslinger. Washington is counting on Kirk Cousins to lead their franchise to new heights. It will all come down to Cousins poise and ability to handle the Eagles pass rush. If he can get past that Cousins should be able to have some success this weekend.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

Go donate! www.tmmc.org

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Cameron Jordan has 5 sacks and 1 defensive touchdown on the year, Jordan has easily been one of the most dominant defenders in the league:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The New Orleans Saints have a winning record after six weeks of NFL action and one player who has been huge for their team is Defensive End Cameron Jordan. Jordan has been an absolute star this season recording 5 sacks, 1 defensive touchdown, 1 interception, and 1 forced fumble. No other player in the NFL has been as versatile defensively as Cameron Jordan has been and on top of all the stats that were mentioned above Jordan has also defended 5 passes as well. So this guy is batting down passes, he has scored a touchdown and is putting points on the board for his team. Cameron Jordan is also bull rushing offensive lineman on almost every snap and putting pressure on the quarterback. There’s no doubt the seventh year pro is the x factor for the Saints defense and without Jordan New Orleans would be much more vulnerable on the defensive side of the ball. The rest of the Saints defenders are rallying around Cameron Jordan and suddenly this franchise is playing winning football again. Last year Sean Payton’s team finished with a 7-9 record, so to be 3-2 after the first six weeks is a great start for New Orleans. The team has effectively put themselves in position to compete for the NFC South title down the stretch. Right now Carolina is leading that division with a 4-2 record but if Cameron Jordan can inspire the black and gold defense to play at high level like they did against Dolphins. Who the Saints shut out in week 4, then there’s no doubt New Orleans can make push for a playoff spot and that’s huge considering this team has struggled since 2013. Things are finally trending upward for the New Orleans Saints and now they have to maintain the success they’ve had over the last three weeks. One thing is for certain Cameron Jordan is a big reason the Saints are on a three game winning streak.

Charity of the day: Scholarship America

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Bruno Mars

After his third major concussion Luke Kuechly finds himself in dangerous territory:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Carolina Panthers have a very scary situation on their hands with stand out Linebacker Luke Kuechly who recently suffered his third concussion. Kuechly was absent from practice today for the Panthers and now the waiting game begins for Kuchly’s return. If you don’t remember Luke Kuechly didn’t finish the 2016 season because of a concussion, which ultimately sidelined the Panthers star defender for six games. It should also be mentioned that Kuechly missed three games in 2015 due to a concussion as well so there has been a pattern of medical concerns for the sixth year pro. Being a linebacker in the National Football League comes with a lot of punishment because you’re expected to go out there and bang heads with the toughest running backs in the league week in and week out. There’s no doubt that Luke Kuechly has been one of the most dominant defensive players in the league but now he must weigh the pros and cons of continuing to play? If Kuechly suffers even one more concussion it could be seriously detrimental to his life after football. It’s so easy to get lured back to the game because of all the success Kuechly has had but at some point you have to start thinking about the future. Now to be fair every football fans wants to see Luke Kuechly out on the field doing what he does best. However the risks are too high at this point and ultimately that could force the 2013 Defensive Player of the Year to retire prematurely. While that won’t be easy to do at all, Kuechly can hold his head high knowing he was the best of the best. People dream of doing the things Luke Kuechly has done on the football field and he will thank himself later on in life knowing he chose to respect himself enough to walk away. The injuries this guy has faced during his career will already have negative consequences down the road. Some NFL coach, owner, or analyst has to be Luke Kuechly’s friend and tell him what he needs to hear instead of what he wants to hear. “It’s time to hang it up Luke.”

Charity of the day: Partners In Health

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Bruno Mars

The Tennessee Titans outscored the Indianapolis Colts 36-22 in a Monday Night Football showdown, Derrick Henry rushed for over 100 yards:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Derrick Henry showed up for the Tennessee Titans and that was ultimately the difference between the Titans and Colts in this week’s Monday Night Football match up. The Colts didn’t combine for over 100 rushing yards as a team but Henry managed to rush for 131 yards and 1 touchdown all by himself. This is the type of production Tennessee envisioned for Henry when they selected him in the 2nd round of the 2016 NFL Draft. When Henry plays like this it’s a huge spark for the Titans offense and Tennessee should really think about unloading DeMarco Murray or Derrick Henry in a trade to give the other guy the full time job. Marcus Mariota returned to action after missing a game for the Titans. Mariota played pretty well against the Colts defense throwing for 306 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Most of Mariota’s yards went to Eric Decker who hauled in 88 receiving yards for Tennessee. Taywan Taylor had a really big night for the Titans offense as well, he recorded 61 yards and 1 receiving touchdown. Jacoby Brissett did all that he could for Indianapolis but he was ultimately shown up by Mariota. Brissett threw for 212 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions for the night. However make no mistake about it the Colts have a good nucleus with Brissett commanding their football team, now it’s about adding pieces around the second year quarterback to give him a fair chance. One thing that would really help out the Colts scoring output would be an effective running game. Frank Gore rushed for 49 yards but Indianapolis needs to have at least 80 yards on the ground by one player in order to be competitive. Luckily for the Colts they do have some decent pass catchers who can balance this franchise out a bit. Jack Doyle caught 7 receptions for 50 yards and 1 touchdown. While Donte Moncrief led the Colts in receiving yards with 67. On the defensive side of things the Titans got a great performance from Wesley Woodyard who put up a team high 8 tackles. Avery Williamson added 6 tackles and a forced fumble to Tennessee’s efforts too. John Simon was the best defender on the field for either team. He played great for the Colts recording 11 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 interception. Antonio Morrison did everything he could for Indianapolis registering 7 total tackles. Tennessee put all the pieces of the puzzle together in this one. They put up 36 points which usually will get the job done in this sport. Give credit to Derrick Henry, Marcus Mariota, and the rest of the Titans offense for putting together a complete game.

Charity of the day: Partners In Health

Go donate! www.pih.org

Bruno Mars

Adrian Peterson runs wild in his Arizona Cardinals debut, Peterson rushed for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Arizona Cardinals took a gamble when they traded for Adrian Peterson but it appears that gamble has paid off. Peterson rushed for 134 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Cardinals 38-33 victory over the Tampa Buccaneers. Which proves the 32 year old running back still has some gas left in the tank. Peterson fits well into Bruce Arians offense and this is exactly what Arizona needed to add a spark to their football team. The Cardinals are 3-3 on the year but having Peterson in the mix clearly makes them much more potent offensively. Carson Palmer has been playing pretty good this year and adding a ground game helps this team achieve balance. That’s why we saw the Cardinals win in their first contest with Peterson in the line up. Which is a good indication there will be plenty more big plays made in the future for the veteran ball carrier. New Orleans likes their running backs to be dual threat players, where as Arizona likes a down hill runner. Schematically Arians system is perfect for Peterson and now this guy suddenly has life again. Remember Adrian Peterson kind of fizzled out in Minnesota and then flopped with the Saints. Many NFL insiders started to write off Peterson but the 7x Pro Bowler proved all the naysayers wrong by showing up big for Arizona. Now Peterson is the talk of the league again and one has to wonder if the league’s 3x rushing leader can maintain the success he had against the Buccaneers? The most crucial thing for Peterson will be consistency because it gets harder as you get up there in age. The good news is things seem to be clicking in the desert and it’s been a long time since we’ve seen the 2012 MVP look like he did yesterday.

Charity of the day: Bob Woodruff Family Foundation

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Bruno Mars

The Miami Dolphins hold off the Atlanta Falcons to win 20-17, Ajayi racks up 130 rushing yards:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Miami Dolphins have been struggling offensively this year but they still put up enough points to beat the Atlanta Falcons in a closely contested match up. Jay Cutler was slow out of the gate but started to make some big plays as the game went on. Cutler finished with 151 passing yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception in a must have game for Miami. The Dolphins couldn’t afford to fall to 2-3 on the season and now both Atlanta and Miami are sitting with a 3-2 record. Jay Ajayi was also extremely effective on the ground for Adam Gase’s offense. Ajayi continues to prove he is a workhorse for this offense totaling up 130 yards for the day. Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills showed they have enough playmaking ability to create some opportunities for Cutler. Both Landry and Stills caught a touchdown pass and the Dolphins need to build on this positive momentum. Miami has been the worst scoring offense up to this point of the season but things should begin to turn around as Jay Cutler finds his rhythm for this team. Atlanta was uncharacteristically out of sync offensively against the tough Dolphins defense. Matt Ryan threw for 248 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception. Usually Ryan is good for multiple touchdown passes but there wasn’t much happening in the passing game. Tevin Coleman did contribute 32 rushing yards and 1 touchdown on the ground for Atlanta. While Marvin Haul added 40 yards and 1 touchdown through the air. Defensively Lawrence Timmons really stepped up for the Dolphins defense. Timmons went AWOL a couple of weeks ago but he showed he still has a lot to offer Miami with a team high 8 tackles. Reshad Jones was his usual self tallying up 7 tackles and the interception that sealed the game. Deion Jones was Atlanta’s best defender he had 11 tackles and 1 interception. Keanu Neal was pretty solid on the back end of the Falcons defense too, he went for 8 tackles in this one. Ultimately you have to give credit to the Miami Dolphins for going on the road into a hostile environment and pulling out a big win. Miami has a chance to turn the page on all of their early season struggles, this win will be huge for their confidence.

Charity of the day: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Go donate! www.lls.org

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Keenan Allen is back on track after playing in only nine games the past two seasons, Allen is a Top 5 receiver in the league right now:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Los Angeles Chargers Wide Receiver Keenan Allen has battled a number of injuries the past two seasons and as a result of that Allen only played in 9 games from 2015 to 2016. However with Allen suiting up for every game this year the Chargers pass catcher has reestablished himself as one of the premier receivers in the league. Allen is currently fifth in the NFL with 401 receiving yards but that’s a huge accomplishment with everything the 25 year old wide out has had to endure over the last couple of years. The Chargers missed this guy so much in the passing game because Allen is their big play guy. If you plug in the tape and watch film on the 5th year pro you immediately notice that Keenan Allen has a good burst. That’s despite the fact that Allen only runs a 4.71 40 yard dash but make no mistake about it when the pads come on number 13 for Los Angeles plays fast and fearless. Philip Rivers also has a lot of trust in Allen so that cohesion leads Rivers to target Allen as his first option most of the time. Defenses around the National Football League know this but they still have trouble stopping Keenan Allen. Which makes it pretty obvious that Allen is a special talent when completely healthy. Maybe the thing that is most admirable is the fact that Allen is a fiery competitor. The Chargers are struggling with a 1-4 record so they need players like the former Cal receiver (Allen) to uplift this team’s morale. The other players in the locker room know they can look to Keenan Allen for leadership and that says a lot about how much value this guy is to the Bolts franchise. Expect to see plenty of plays being made in the passing game regardless if Los Angeles is winning games or not. Philip Rivers and Keenan Allen are going to give everything they have week in and week out.

Charity of the day: Prevent Blindness

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Case Keenum has done an excellent job of filling in during Sam Bradford’s absence, the Vikings are 3-2 without their starting QB:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Minnesota Vikings have been no stranger to quarterback trouble the last couple of years. Not only did Teddy Bridgewater dislocate his knee and tear his ACL in 2016, the Vikings current starting quarterback Sam Bradford is also suffering from what Minnesota’s medical staff have diagnosed as “knee wear and tear.” Ultimately that should have sank the Vikings chances of a winning season but back up QB Case Keenum has kept Mike Zimmer’s team afloat with Bradford out of the line up. Keenum actually started 10 games last year for the Rams while Jared Goff learned the ropes. That stint in Los Angeles really prepared Keenum for his time now as the Vikings signal caller. It just goes to show that development can unleash a player’s amazing abilities on the football field and if you’ve followed Keenum’s collegiate career you know this guy was a special talent from day 1. As a member of the University of Houston’s football team Keenum threw for 155 touchdowns and for a passer rating of 160.6. Those numbers are through the roof and everything that made this guy elite for the Cougars is now translating over to the pro level. In fact Keenum has started in 27 games out of the 30 NFL games he has suited up for. It’s obvious Case Keenum has a knack for playing the quarterback position and that’s been huge for the Vikings offense this season. Keenum has 4 touchdowns and 0 interceptions stats wise in 2017. The thing that stands out there is the fact that the 29 year old quarterback hasn’t turned over the football. When you’re facing the best defenders on earth week in and week out it’s so easy to throw an interception here and there. Case Keenum has avoided those letdowns and now the Vikings are still competing for the NFC North title. That’s much better than say the Chicago Bears who are 1-4 and fading fast. So Keenum deserves a ton of credit for his ability to come in and get the job done, this guy is definitely going to be a full time starter in this league for some team if the Vikings don’t keep him around for the long term.

Charity of the day: National Hemophilia Foundation

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