The Windy City has waited a long time but it appears the Bears are back on track. They manhandled the Seahawks 24-17 and their defense could lead them to a championship someday:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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It’s been a while since the Chicago Bears had a football team that’s a true contender but the wait is finally over. Not only did Chicago play very well against the Packers in week one but they absolutely dominated the Seahawks in last night’s Monday Night Football showdown. The defense set the tone for the Bears sacking Russell Wilson six times. Danny Trevathan led the way with 8 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 forced fumble. Roquan Smith also chipped in 7 tackles and then of course there was Khalil Mack who recorded 5 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 forced fumble. When you have a front seven that’s this talented it makes it very tough for opposing teams to get anything going. For three quarters of the game Seattle’s offense was nonexistent. Wilson finished the night with 226 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 1 interception. However most of the points came during garbage time late in the 4th quarter. Tyler Lockett and Will Dissly caught those touchdowns from Wilson but at that point the game was already out of reach. So Wilson and company will have to make some adjustments moving forward. Mitchell Trubisky led the way for Chicago throwing for 200 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 2 interceptions. Trey Burton and Anthony Miller hauled in a touchdown each for Matt Nagy’s attack and they were certainly more impressive than the Seahawks’ offense. Nagy did a good job with his play creativity and he also showed some aggressiveness by going for it on a 4th down play. There’s no doubt the Bears have a new found swagger and they’re only getting better from here. One other thing has to be noted though and that’s how well the Seahawks defense played. They kept Pete Carroll’s team around for most of the game but obviously the lack of offensive output was too much to overcome. Shaquill Griffin led Seattle with 4 tackles and 2 interceptions. While Bradley McDougald continues his successful 2018 campaign. McDougald went for 8 tackles in the Seahawks loss.

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

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Everyone in the Windy City is excited about the Bears potential. Their defense is the real deal.

Bill Belichick believes a 5th round pick is worth taking a gamble on Josh Gordon. Belichick is probably right but it’ll be hard for Gordon to change his ways:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Cleveland Browns have traded Josh Gordon to the New England Patriots for a 5th round pick. While that’s a low risk move for the Patriots because Gordon has so much upside. It’s a long shot that Gordon is going to change his ways and get his career back on track. The troubled receiver had numerous chances in Cleveland but squandered them all away. As a football fan it’s hard to watch because everyone is rooting for Gordon. We all see a guy that has unlimited potential when he steps on the field. The problem lies in Gordon’s substance abuse problems and his inability to handle responsibility. Showing up and working hard everyday is tough for Gordon and a lot of times he’s leaned on his natural abilities to bail him out. Belichick is hoping he can acquire another Randy Moss type of acquisition who the Patriots also landed for a 5th round pick. Although the Moss situation was different because he had seven 1,000 yard seasons with the Vikings and Raiders before he wound up New England. Outside of 2013 Josh Gordon hasn’t produced a whole lot success. Maybe going to a high octane offense like the Patriots will help but none of that matters if Gordon can’t stay sober. Therefore the biggest challenge for Belichick will be keeping Gordon on the straight and narrow path. Without 24/7 supervision that’s going to be nearly impossible. One of the reasons the Browns parted ways with Gordon is because they believe he came to work intoxicated. Like so many other individuals in today’s era Gordon is battling some level of depression and he’s choosing to escape through alcohol or drug use. That’s a slippery slope to invest in if you’re New England and even though it’s only a 5th round pick. It could be a late round selection that’s wasted if Gordon doesn’t change his ways immediately.

Charity of the day: One Acre Fund

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Bill Belichick is taking a gamble on Josh Gordon. The Patriots are hoping Gordon can overcome his substance abuse and be a contributor in their offense.

The Cowboys took an early lead over the Giants and never looked back. Dallas emerges victorious 20-13:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants are old NFC East rivals and every single match up is a battle. This game was a lot more lopsided than the score indicated though. Dallas scored on the very first drive thanks to a Dak Prescott deep pass to Tavon Austin. From there the Cowboys proceeded to lock down Eli Manning and the Giants offense. Dallas ended up recording 6 sacks and when you have that kind of pass rush the results tend to be favorable. Demarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Taco Charlton, Damien Wilson, Kavon Frazier, and Antwuan Woods all teed off on Manning at one point or another. Chris Collinsworth nailed it when he said the Cowboys identity is playing good defense and utilizing Ezekiel Elliott in the running game. If Dallas can stick to that format they’ll have a shot to put up some wins. Although you can’t get to ahead of yourself because New York looked awful in this contest. Dak Prescott finished the night with 160 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. Elliott racked up 76 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. Austin was the top receiver for Jason Garrett’s offense registering 79 yards and the 1 TD mentioned above. Big Blue was led by Manning who threw for 279 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. Saquon Barkley rushed for 28 yards but he was much more effective catching the ball out the backfield. The 2nd overall pick (Barkley) recorded 14 receptions for 80 yards. Evan Engram also had a decent game for New York he hauled in 67 yards 1 touchdowns. On the defensive side of things Alec Ogletree led the G-Men with 6 tackles. Landon Collins had 6 tackles too but New York couldn’t make up the ground they lost early on. With Philadelphia and Washington both losing this week the Cowboys were the only team in the NFC East to walk away with a win. We’ll see if Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, and the rest of those guys can build on this good momentum?

Charity of the day: Brookings Institution

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The Dallas Cowboys grabbed an early lead against the New York Giants and the rest was history.

Green Bay and Minnesota tied and that has to be concerning for the Vikings. They were the favorite to win the NFC North but the Packers have closed the gap after a strong off-season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Everyone knows the Minnesota Vikings are one of the best teams in all of football. Not only did they have a great season a year ago but they seemed like they were poised to have a lot success in 2018 as well. However the Packers came out and really played the Vikings tough. To be honest Green Bay should’ve won this contest and they would’ve had Clay Matthews not committed a costly penalty. On that play Jaire Alexander intercepted Cousin’s pass but it was overturned and obviously that was a deflating outcome for Mike McCarthy’s team. Eventually Minnesota got back in contention with a nice touchdown pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen. Then the Vikings tied the game when they converted a 2 point conversion to Stefon Diggs. Things got really interesting when the game went into overtime. Minnesota would go on to miss a potential game winning field goal. Aaron Rodgers couldn’t make anything happen after that and the final result was a 29-29 draw. Cousins finished the contest with 425 yards , 4 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Diggs and Thielen were spectacular too. Diggs went for 128 receiving yards and 2 touchdowns while Thielen hauled in 131 yards and 1 TD grab. The Packers weren’t nearly as successful on offense. Aaron Rodgers aired it out for 281 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions but Green Bay struggled to find the end zone. Davante Adams hauled in 64 yards and 1 touchdown although most of the big plays came on special teams. Mason Crosby booted five field goals and Josh Jackson recovered a blocked punt for a touchdown. One thing is for certain and that’s Green Bay will have to find a way to put up more points next time they take on the Vikings. The defensive standouts were Xavier Rhodes (8 tackles) and Andrew Sendejo (8 tackles) for the purple team. The green and yellow squad was led by Jaire Alexander (7 tackles) and Haha Clinton-Dix (3 tackles and 1 interception).

Charity of the day: Brookings Institution

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It has to be concerning for Minnesota that the Packers played them so tough. The Vikings were supposed to be the front-runner in the NFC North.

Josh Gordon and the Browns are going their separate ways. Cleveland has several teams that are willing to trade for the troubled receiver:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Josh Gordon recently suffered a hamstring injury and the Cleveland Browns have had enough of Gordon’s inconsistencies. The talented but troubled receiver has been suspended several times and his latest injury was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Apparently some people in Cleveland’s front office also thought Gordon was under the influence when he showed up to the team’s facility today. Not only was that a problem, Josh Gordon was also late to a meeting and John Dorsey felt it was time to move on. If you paid attention to Dorsey during Hard Knocks you got the impression that the Browns general manager was frustrated with Gordon from the get go. The pass catcher known as Flash wasn’t with the team at the beginning of training camp and that was another strike against him. At some point Gordon had to realize this was coming because how long was Cleveland supposed to hold out hope? Once you make it to the NFL you’re a professional and that’s something Gordon has struggled with every step of the way. Nobody is denying the guy’s talent. The problem is that talent is often wasted while he’s sitting on the sideline suspended or hurt. If there’s any good news for Gordon it’s the fact that at least five teams have expressed interest in trading for the 27 year old. That’s somewhat surpassing considering Gordon’s history but Cleveland might be able to swing a late round pick for the soon to be ex-Brown. This franchise has also made it clear if they can’t work out a deal for Gordon by Monday they’ll release him. Obviously this is a sad ending for a player who has quite a bit of potential. When Josh Gordon lands somewhere else he must turn things around because his reputation is so tarnished he’s literally running out of chances. Based on everything we’ve seen with Gordon in the past it’s a long shot he’s ever going to get clean.

Charity of the day: Red Cross

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Josh Gordon and the Browns are going their separate ways. It’s because Gordon rarely played.

New Orleans is looking to rebound against the Cleveland Browns this weekend. If the Saints want to pull out the win they need keep feeding Alvin Kamara:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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New Orleans lost in a 48-40 shootout against the Tampa Buccaneers last week but there was a few decent takeaways from that contest. Maybe the most notable was the fact that Alvin Kamara combined for 141 yards and 3 touchdowns for the Saints offense. If Kamara can keep accumulating big numbers like that against Cleveland hopefully New Orleans’ defense will eventually get things figured out. Typically it’s easier to find a rhythm on the defensive side of the ball than the offensive because it takes so much coordination to get the x and os right on offense. That’s why Kamara must keep producing and scoring touchdowns. The Saints are going to win a lot of games if they can continuously score 40 points each week. When you have one single player who is responsible for half of that total by himself you have to make sure that individual is the focal point of the attack. Even though Mark Ingram is suspended and that hurts to some degree. It almost feels like Alvin Kamara makes this group more dynamic. Drew Brees operates out of the shotgun so much and Kamara meshes perfectly with that style of offense. That makes opposing linebackers cautious about dropping too deep in their hook zones because Kamara can take advantage of even the smallest amount of space. Drew Brees has a lethal weapon over top in Mike Thomas and if that read isn’t there he can always check down to his safety valve Kamara. It’s so hard to defend both of those options and Sean Payton knows he has the right personnel to do something special. All Payton should do is stick to the script and come up with creative ways to get Kamara the football. Drawing up plays is fun when you have this kind of talent on the field. Whatever is called running backs like Alvin Kamara tend to make their coaches look like a genius.

Charity of the day: National Park Foundation

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Alvin Kamara can help the Saints rebound against Cleveland if he continues to perform at such a high level.

Dion Lewis seems to be taking Derrick Henry’s job in Tennessee. It’s because Lewis is also a threat in the passing game:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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If you caught the Tennessee Titans and Miami Dolphins game last week you may have noticed that Dion Lewis was on the field for a majority of the snaps. In fact Lewis led the Titans in rushing with 75 yards and 1 touchdown. The scatback (Lewis) also caught 5 receptions for 35 yards. So when you look at Dion Lewis’ numbers you really have to pay attention to his combined stats because he can make an impact in so many different phases of the game. There were times in New England when Lewis would also make special teams plays as a kick returner. Derrick Henry isn’t nearly as versatile and that’s definitely one of the reasons that Lewis has been in the lineup more often. A perfect example would be a 3rd and 10 play when the Titans offense is trying to covert. Sure Henry would probably be a better pass blocker than Lewis because he’s a much bigger guy. However Lewis can leak out of the backfield catch the football and possibly move the chains. In today’s game spread offenses are much more prevalent and we’re seeing players like Alvin Kamara, Chris Thompson, and Lewis utilized more often because of their dual threat capabilities. Therefore Derrick Henry will have to make the most of the opportunities he gets and put together a string of good runs if he wants to earn more carriers. It’s very possible that happens because Henry is going to be more determined than ever. Although Dion Lewis has the leg up for now and it’s because of all those years he was the underdog. Lewis had to defy the odds every step of the way just to be in the position he’s in. During that journey the former Patriot and Eagle (Lewis) learned how prepare himself to compete at a high level and it’s been a great story up to this point.

Charity of the day: National Park Foundation

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Dion Lewis outplayed Derrick Henry in week one and now Lewis might’ve earned the starting job.

Andy Dalton and A.J Green star in the Bengals 34-23 win over the Ravens. Cincinnati starts off the year 2-0:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Another Thursday Night Football is in the books and the Cincinnati Bengals came out on top 34-23 against the Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati started the game off hot and A.J Green is the main reason why. Green hauled in three touchdown receptions all in the first half. Andy Dalton was also on fire finishing the night with 265 yards, 4 touchdowns, and no interceptions. The combination of Dalton and Green looks better than ever and they’re a big reason why the Bengals are 2-0 so far. When Cincinnati’s offense is on they have a chance to be extremely potent. This game should’ve been a blow out but give the Ravens credit because they fought until the final whistle. Joe Flacco tried to rally the troops by throwing for 376 yards, and 2 touchdowns. One of those touchdowns went to John Brown who also chipped in 92 receiving yards. Outside of those two guys Baltimore didn’t have a whole lot going on. The same can’t be said for the Bengals defense though. They played solid recording 4 sacks, 2 interceptions, and recovering 1 fumble. Geno Atkins in particular dominated upfront against the Ravens offensive line. Atkins stat line for the night was 5 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and 4 quarterback hits. Flacco had no chance with Geno Atkins breathing down his neck for all four quarters and that was very disruptive for the Ravens offense. Shawn Williams was the other top performer for Marvin Lewis’ defense. Williams had 8 tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, and a clutch forced fumble to seal the victory. Baltimore wasn’t as lucky. First C.J Mosley went down with a knee injury and they couldn’t force any turnovers like the Bengals did. Tony Jefferson led the Ravens with 9 tackles. Kenny Young also played well he tallied up 8 tackles and 1 TFL however it just wasn’t enough. Cincinnati improves to 2-0 and they’re currently in first place in the AFC North. Give Dalton and Green all the credit they were spectacular all the way till the end.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

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Andy Dalton and AJ Green star in a huge 34-23 win over the Baltimore Ravens. Cincinnati looked took in this match up.

If the Browns want to salvage their season they should start Baker Mayfield. Cleveland has a decent defense now they need to score some points:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Baker Mayfield was drafted number one overall in the 2018 draft but he struggled a little bit throughout OTAs and training camp. However once the preseason rolled around Mayfield showed exactly why he was the most coveted player in all of America. Mayfield has amazing mechanics in the pocket and knack for throwing the football. Even though Tyrod Taylor is a great leader. Cleveland should seriously consider starting Mayfield going forward because he gives this team a chance to compete on the offensive side of the ball. Myles Garrett and company will force stops and keep points off the board. So why not give Mayfield a chance to prove himself and if he doesn’t play up to the Browns standards this team can always go back to Tyrod Taylor. Letting Taylor remain the number one quarterback though almost guarantees that Cleveland isn’t going to score enough points. Hue Jackson can’t afford to concede another season after going 1-31 over the past two years. Josh Gordon and Jarvis Landry only have so much value if they don’t have a quarterback who can put the ball in their area. It’s not that Taylor is terrible it’s just that he’s limited from a throw power and accuracy standpoint. All that does is put a cap on the Browns big play potential. There’s no sense in sitting around and losing games because this organization wants to keep Mayfield’s training wheels on. You drafted this kid number 1 overall for a reason and he should get a chance to lead this team out of the darkness. It’s only a matter of time before Jackson will have to hand Mayfield the reigns anyway so really the Browns are delaying the inevitable. The bottom line is Cleveland can’t unravel again and if a rookie quarterback can avoid that. There’s no doubt you have start that player regardless of his inexperience. Baker Mayfield is the answer and at this point he’s their only real shot at winning.

Charity of the day: Marine Mammal Center

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If the Browns salvage heir season they should make Baker Mayfield their starting quarterback.

Jacksonville will have their hands full with New England. Especially since they struggled with the Giants last week:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Jacksonville Jaguars barely pulled out a win against the New York Giants last week and that’s not a good sign heading into a match up against the New England Patriots. Even though the Giants have improved quite a bit from a year ago the Patriots are a whole other caliber of team. New England has the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tom Brady and he’ll challenge the Jaguars regardless of how strong they are defensively. Rob Gronkowski will also be a tough draw for any linebacker or safety that is lined up against him. So the Patriots have weapons that can go toe to toe with Jacksonville. New England also eliminated the Jaguars in the playoffs last year so this is quickly turning into an AFC rivalry. Jacksonville will have that in the back of their mind when they take the field this weekend. Now if there is any positive for Doug Marrone’s team it’s the fact that Dante Fowler will be available. Fowler was suspended for violating the league’s personal conduct policy. That additional pass rusher will significantly bolster the Jags defensive line rotation. It’s not like Fowler is slouch either. The 24 year old defensive end recorded 8 sacks in 2017. Those are the type of plays this group needs to throw Brady off of his game. To be honest though it feels like Jacksonville should’ve beat the Giants a little bit more convincingly and that has to be a concern. We heard about the the fights that kept happening at this team’s practices and you have to wonder if their culture is turning toxic? That would explain why the Jaguars haven’t looked that good to start the season off  because with all the talent they have very few teams should stand a chance against them. If Jacksonville loses against the Patriots look out because there might be some tension brewing below the surface.

Charity of the day: Action Against Hunger-USA

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If Jacksonville struggled against the New York. They might really have their hands full against New England.

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