The Redskins get their 3rd win of the season with a 16-10 win over the Ravens:

Photo credit: Todd Olszewski / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Washington Redskins took on the Ravens in a game in Baltimore Maryland. In that game it was the Ravens who would start off with all the momentum. The Ravens got out to a 10-6 lead in the first half, however it was the Redskins who battled back with 10 second half points and eventually won 16-10. The Redskins most notable play of the game might have come on special teams when Jamison Crowder returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown. That play was a spark plug for the Redskins and it’s always good when you can take a kick return or a punt return and turn it into 6 points. Kirk Cousins had a decent day for Washington he finished the contest with 260 yards and 1 passing touchdown. That 1 touchdown pass went to Pierre Garcon who also contributed 56 yards receiving. Defensively Will Compton and Duke Ihenacho led the way for the Redskins each recording 9 tackles apiece. For Baltimore Joe Flacco had 210 yards and 1 touchdown pass. Crockett Gilmore was on the receiving end of Flacco’s touchdown throw, while Terrance West added 95 yards to the Ravens running game. Cj Mosley continued his stellar defensive play by intercepting a pass and recording 6 tackles for Baltimore’s defense. When it was all said and done Washington got their much needed 3rd win of the season. They improve their momentum and now the stock arrow is pointing up for Washington after a slow start. On the opposite sideline the Ravens are now trending downward after losing 2 straight games. It’s been a tough couple weeks for Baltimore after an impressive 3-0 start. The Redskins will take on the Eagles in week 6. The Ravens on the other hand will take on the much improved New York Giants.

Charity of the day: International Medical Corps

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The Patriots have activated Tom Brady and he will suit up tomorrow against Cleveland:

Photo credit: Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Patriots have activated Tom Brady for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns. After one of the most controversial suspensions in pro football history which led to Brady finally missing 4 games of this year, Brady now steps on the field seeking revenge on all those who opposed him. Unfortunately for Hue Jackson his team is in Brady’s cross-hairs and don’t be surprised if Brady comes out and lights Cleveland up. Brady has thrown at least 30 touchdown passes in 5 out his last 6 seasons. That’s a 150 touchdowns just in those 5 years, if you or I threw 150 touchdowns in our whole career we would have been considered a complete success. Keep in mind Brady also threw 50 touchdowns in a single season back in 2007. So this is easily one of the greatest quarterbacks we’ve ever seen and now to our enjoyment we get to watch him operate in his 17th season. New England has a pretty talented team entering the week 5 mark with a 3-1 record. Now they have their true leader back and it also should be noted the Patriots also activated Rob Ninkovich. Ninkovich was also sidelined with a suspension so those are 2 key players that the Patriots are glad to have back on the field. Now if the Patriots can get Rob Gronkowski and the rest of their other guys healed up this team will be a lethal force heading into the later part of the season. First they have to get past the Cleveland Browns though who still will pose a threat to New England. Isaiah Crowell is an outstanding player and it will be up to the Patriots defense to quarantine his efforts. Defensively the Browns haven’t been as good they are ranked 23rd in the league in total points surrendered giving up a lackluster 375 yards a game. Expect the Patriots to unleash a heavy dose of Legarrette Blount to exploit that match up and you have to foresee the Patriots winning this game when it’s all said and done.

Charity of the day: Cancer Research Institute

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are the front-runner of the AFC North 5 weeks into the season:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost the AFC North last season to the Cincinnati Bengals but 2016 is a new year and the Steelers seemed to have done enough this off-season to pass the Bengals. Those off-season moves included drafting a defensive back in the first 2 rounds of the draft (Artie Burns, Sean Davis) and retaining most of their potential departures (William Gay, Darrius Heyward-Bey, and David Decastro). Each one of those roster moves have played a significant role for Pittsburgh and now they are entering week 5 with a 3-1 record. To make things even more interesting the Bengals aren’t even in second place, instead the Ravens are the team putting the pressure on Pittsburgh. However you’d have to expect the Bengals to eventually pass the Ravens before the season is over. Pittsburgh has nabbed the top spot by doing what they’ve done the past few years and that is play outstanding offense. The only difference is now this year they can actually play a little defense as well. That makes this team so much more lethal and now they are certainly a Super Bowl competitor. Truthfully the Steelers postseason hopes hang on whether or not Ben Roethlisberger can be at his best when the time comes? Roethlisberger has been spectacular up to this point and that has been the formula for success for Mike Tomlin’s football team. If Antonio Brown and Roethlisberger light teams up in the postseason like they are truly capable of, they are just too dynamic to be stopped. Then Ryan Shazier and James Harrison have to be able to get stops when Roethlisberger isn’t on the field. Overall though Pittsburgh does look much improved from a season ago and give their front office credit. It’s so easy to make the wrong moves personnel wise and have your whole team unravel. That hasn’t been the case with the Steelers and now they are step closer to winning their 7th Lombardi Trophy.

Charity of the day: Student Conservation Association

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Broncos, Vikings, and Eagles are the last 3 undefeated teams:

Photo credit: Joe Amon / Denver Post

Author: Jon Kuzma

Week 5 will be another great week of NFL action and only 3 teams enter this weekend with an undefeated record still. Those 3 teams are the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings, and the Philadelphia Eagles. Out of all those teams so far believe it or not statistically the Eagles have been the best team. The Eagles have scored 92 points and only surrendered 27 points in their first 3 games of the season. When you compare that to to Denver’s 111 points scored and 64 points surrendered you might think Denver has the advantage in their 4 games played. However if history has taught us anything it’s that defense wins championships and you should bet your money on the team who has best the defense so far. The Vikings have 88 points scored and only 50 points against in 4 games. They also have a tremendous defense and could easily be a Super Bowl team by the end of the year. While the the statistics at this point favor Philadelphia out all of these undefeated teams. Eventually the Eagles are going to come back down to earth. Denver and Minnesota could easily meet in the Super Bowl down the line if they keep up their stellar play. Truthfully out of those teams you’d have to favor the Broncos because they’ve got to the big stage before and won in those circumstances. Playoff experience and Super Bowl experience are so key and when you’ve been there you know how to handle yourself when the pressure is on. Denver might be starting the worst quarterback out of the 3 undefeated teams but keep in mind Peyton Manning didn’t even throw a touchdown pass last year in the Super Bowl. Instead C.J Anderson and the Broncos defense owned the night. It’s hard to pick against those guys and they are the most likely to maintain their success throughout the rest of the season.

Charity of the day: Student Conservation Association

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David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald lead the Arizona Cardinals past the San Francisco 49ers 33-21:

Photo credit: Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Arizona Cardinals got a much needed win on Thursday Night Football defeating the San Francisco 49ers 33-21. The Cardinals were led by David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald who both scored 2 touchdowns apiece. Johnson finished the contest with 27 rushing attempts for 157 yards in the game. Showing exactly why he is one of the premier up and coming running backs in the National Football League. Fitzgerald recorded 6 receptions for 81 yards and did a great job of taking it to the 49ers secondary. One other notable performer for the Cardinals was back up quarterback Drew Stanton. Stanton who started for the injured Carson Palmer (concussion) played extremely well tossing 2 touchdowns passes and 124 yards. Defensively the Cardinals had a great night compiling 7 sacks against Blaine Gabbert. That really clamped down the 49ers quarterback and was ultimately the difference maker in the match up. Markus Golden and Calais Campbell each had 2 sacks apiece leading the way for Arizona’s defense. For the 49ers Carlos Hyde and Jeremy Kerley both had strong performance. Hyde rushed for 78 yards and another rushing touchdown, his 6th of the season. While Kerley continues his strong season with San Francisco hauling in 102 yards and 1 touchdown reception. The Cardinals improve to a 2-3 record, on the other hand the 49ers fall to 1-4. Arizona finds themselves 1 game below .500 and they have to be upbeat about getting some good momentum and potentially getting back in contention. This is a team that was 1 game away from the Super Bowl last year and they now find themselves clawing to get back to the postseason. San Francisco looks a lot like they did last season, so Chip Kelly will have to add more talent to get the results he desires on the field.

Charity of the day: United States Fund for UNICEF

Go donate! www.unicefusa.org

Will Fuller is proving he can succeed on the biggest NFL stages:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

The Houston Texans drafted former standout Notre Dame Wide Receiver Will Fuller with their first pick in the 2016 Draft. Fuller was a very dynamic player at the University of Notre Dame and Houston was hoping that big play capability Fuller showcased in college would translate over to the professional game. Well, after 4 weeks of action we know now that Fuller can play at any level of football. The Texans wide receiver has been sensational recording 19 receptions for 323 yards and 2 touchdowns on the year. That has provided a huge spark to the Texans offense and Fuller has also done a great job of meshing with new quarterback Brock Osweiler. The Texans offense was the weakest link of the team last season but now Houston is a much faster team due to the additions of players like Fuller, and Lamar Miller. Losing JJ Watt for the rest of the year because of a back injury will definitely set this team back. So it will be up to Will Fuller and the rest of the Texans offense to do everything they can to minimize that loss. It will be tough for Houston to be a Super Bowl contender without Watt. However if this team can get back to the postseason that would be a huge accomplishment and it would set a good precedent for the future. Houston currently boasts a 3-1 record so they started the season off on the right foot. Now it’s about winning the AFC South division and building on the momentum that they started last season. In order to achieve those feats Will Fuller will have to maintain his high level of play and Brock Osweiler has to rise to the expectations and deliver on his end as well. Then the Houston Texans defense has to give enough to at least keep this team competitive. It will be interesting to watch if Houston can keep everything from unraveling down the stretch without Watt.

Charity of the day: United States Fund for UNICEF

Go donate! www.unicefusa.org

The Ravens are 3-1 right now because of their defensive play:

Photo credit: Larry French / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Baltimore Ravens are off to a good start this year after only winning 5 games in all of 2015. The Ravens are currently sitting with a 3-1 record after the first month of the regular season and their defense deserves most of the credit for their strong play on the field. Baltimore is currently ranked 1st in the league in total defense only allowing 256 yards per game to opposing teams. Baltimore beat out the Seattle Seahawks and the Philadelphia Eagles for the top defensive spot. So clearly John Harbaugh has his players focused on the defensive side of the ball and that has gave Baltimore the edge in most of their games so far. Baltimore finished 8th last season in total defense so getting Terrell Suggs back, adding Eric Weddle, and the emergence of Timmy Jernigan have really catapulted this team. Suggs has 3 sacks already this year and that is outstanding considering he didn’t even record a stat last season. Weddle has recorded 15 tackles and an interception acting as a spark plug for the Baltimore secondary. Finally Jernigan has brought a good pass rush this year recording 3 sacks. Jernigan only had 4 sacks last season so he should greatly improve on his season total as well. The Ravens have been one of the surprise teams of 2016 and while we knew they were improving. No one knew they would make this great of strides in just one season. Baltimore will host the Redskins this Sunday so Washington will make the 32 mile trip to M & T Bank Stadium to play a very tough Ravens team. The Redskins haven’t been as good as they were last season so this will be a great test for the Raven to prove they are for real in 2016. A win would go a long way towards their postseason hopes and it will also let everyone know who is really the best team in Maryland ( Washington plays their home games in Landover, Maryland).

Charity of the day: National Council on Aging

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Isaiah Crowell has been exceptional for the Cleveland Browns this season:

Photo credit: Patrick Smith / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Cleveland Browns haven’t won a game all season but there is one bright spot for Hue Jackson’s team. That bright spot is running back Isaiah Crowell and Crowell is a player that can beat opposing defenses in a variety of different ways. Number 34 for the Browns is a dynamic player and he recorded 706 yards and 4 touchdowns last season for Cleveland. This year Crowell already has 396 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns meaning he should easily surpass his stats from last year. Currently Crowell is ranked 2nd in the entire league in rushing yards and that shows just how valuable this guy has been to his team. Not much has worked for the Cleveland Browns this year but Crowell consistently seems to produce and he has really been the backbone for this team’s offensive attack. Corey Coleman was the other guy stepping up for Cleveland but he went down with an injury. Luckily Terrelle Pryor has been stepping up a bit for this offense because Cleveland needs someone to stretch the defense and create running lanes for Crowell. That makes Crowell’s job much easier and helps the whole offense as collective unit. The run and the pass have to balance each other out and the Cleveland quarterbacks are fortunate to have a player like Isaiah Crowell causing those linebackers to creep up and open windows in the passing game. If Cleveland keeps feeding Crowell down the stretch this season, he could easily be in the hunt for the rushing title and with the Browns 3rd string quarterback playing you have to figure he will continue to get those touches. Cleveland will take on the the New England Patriots Sunday in another tough contest. It will be a great way to measure Isaiah Crowell against an elite team and that could be a good indicator of how he will play against some of the best in the business. So far the 3rd year running back has risen to occasion every time he has been tested, so don’t expect anything to change Sunday Patriots or not.

Charity of the day: American Red Cross

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Matt Ryan has put together 4 terrific games to start the season:

Photo credit: Kevin C. Cox / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Atlanta Falcons are 3-1 on the year and much of that is due to Matt Ryan’s outstanding play over the first quarter of the season. Ryan has been flat out spectacular this year with 11 touchdown passes and only 2 interceptions. That has elevated the Atlanta Falcons offensive play and now the Falcons are looking like a serious playoff contender entering week 5. Ryan has been so good over the last 4 weeks he has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Month. That is a high honor and if he keeps playing at this high of a level Ryan could be in the running for an M.V.P award at the end of the season. There is a lot of football left before that happens, however it’s certainly a positive start for Matt Ryan and Atlanta is riding high. Just last game Ryan threw over 500 yards and he has done a great job of being fundamentally sound with his throwing mechanics. Ryan always has his feet set under him when he makes a throw and that allows him to transfer the kinetic energy through him fluently. Resulting in much crisper throws and when you also add in Ryan’s awareness as well, you really have a complete player who can come in and get the job done week in and week out. The final 2 things that are noticeable about Matt Ryan this year on his game films are the fact that he looks like he is in better shape than the past and he is understanding where to go with the football much better in the quick passing game. That counter acts teams from blitzing as much because blitzing leaves wide open windows for Ryan to hit. Also the improvement in athleticism lets Ryan operate more smoothly in the pocket and it allows him to make plays that he wouldn’t be able to make if he wasn’t in the shape he is now. That has been the formula for Matt Ryan and also give credit to the Falcons offensive line. They have done a great job of protecting him upfront and handling the opposing team’s blitz packages. Keep an eye on whether or not Ryan can keep up the hot streak as the season carries on?

Charity of the day: American Red Cross

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Vikings improve to 4-0 with a 24-10 onslaught of the New York Giants:

Photo credit: Hannah Foslien / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Minnesota Vikings are a very well rounded football team and that was evident when they easily handled the New York Giants 24-10 on Monday Night Football last night. From the get go this game was all Vikings and the underlining factor was the fact that the Giants were only allowed 10 points in the entire contest. Eli Manning didn’t even have a passing touchdown and when you consider how dynamic his receivers are that is a great accomplishment for the Vikings defense. Captain Munnerlyn and Eric Kendricks were the leaders defensively for Minnesota, both Munnerlyn and Kendricks recorded 8 tackles apiece. Offensively Sam Bradford looked sharp for the Vikings throwing for 262 yards, 1 touchdown pass, and 0 interceptions. Bradford improves to a 3-0 as a starter with Minnesota and has done nothing but impress since getting to the North Star State. Bradford got a little help from the team’s running game, both Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata were able to find the end zone for a touchdown each. Orleans Darkwa was the Giants top performer he was able to rush for 48 yards and New York’s only touchdown on the night. The Giants were led defensively by Landon Collins who recorded 10 tackles for the evening. Ultimately this game was a defensive battle with 12 punts taking place between both team. In the end though it was the Vikings who dictated the pace and were able to hang on for the win. Coach Mike Zimmer has to be feeling good with an undefeated record heading into week 5. Not an easy thing to accomplish but truthfully the Vikings have played fundamental football all year and that is the recipe for success in Minnesota. The Vikings were adamant about winning the turnover battle and they were much more efficient on 3rd down than the Giants were last night. Bradford out played Manning as well so that was the tale of the tape when it was all said an done. Minnesota will host the Houston Texans in their next match while the Giants will head to Green Bay.

Charity of the day: Innocence Project

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