Jared Goff goes from the number 1 draft pick to the 3rd quarterback on the Rams depth chart:

Photo credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Los Angeles Rams traded away 6 draft picks to draft Jared Goff number 1 overall in the 2016 Draft. Now it looks like Jared Goff will enter the regular season as the 3rd quarterback on the Rams roster. Goff was highly praised during draft time as being the most pro ready quarterback on the draft board. So far that award seems more suited for Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys who was actually drafted in the 4th round. Goff just seems to struggle with the execution side of things. The former Cal quarterback isn’t that great at taking snaps, he was notorious for botching the quarterback/center exchange during training camp. Goff also was very inaccurate in the passing game and turned the ball over too frequently. To Jeff Fisher all that indicated was Jared Goff has a long way to go and he isn’t quite ready to lead the Rams in their Los Angeles resurrection. Instead the Rams will give Case Keenum the nod, a move that will give the Rams a player who understands the responsibilities that come with a starting quarterback job in this league. Most people thought Goff would be a lock to back up Keenum but Sean Mannion was also further along than Goff was. That means Jared Goff won’t dress on game day and that is certainly a disappointment for a guy who was the top player coming out of college football last year. Many other players who went below Goff will be on the field for their rookie campaign so Goff kind of fell behind a little bit. Now the rookie signal caller will have to work twice as hard to do everything he can to move up the depth chart. Not an easy task but Goff will get better with each rep, and the Rams are hoping someday he will lead this football team to new heights. The first step is doing everything he can to winning the starting job though. You can’t lead in this sport when you’re on the bench.

rity of the day: Arbor Day Foundation

Go donate!   www.arborday.org

Football Predictions: Picks for every AFC division

Photo credit: Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

AFC East               AFC South

1. Patriots              1. Texans
2.  Jets                    2. Colts
3. Bills                    3. Jaguars
4. Dolphins           4. Titans

AFC North            AFC West

1. Bengals              1. Chiefs
2. Steelers             2. Broncos
3. Ravens              3. Raiders
4. Browns             4. Chargers

AFC East: New England is still sitting out front even though Brady is suspended for 4 games. The Patriots are the best ran organization in pro football and will overcome the adversity to clinch their 19th division title. The Jets defense will be good enough to take the runner up spot in the division. While Buffalo will likely top the Dolphins for 3rd place. Rex could get fired after the season and Adam Gase will realize he has a tough mountain to climb to ever be relevant in the division.

AFC North: The Bengals are the most complete team in the division and will outlast the Steelers potent offense. Marvin Lewis claims his 5th division title and will have his best shot ever at winning a Super Bowl. The Steelers will be good offensively but still need to improve defensively to take the next step, despite drafting two defensive players with their first 2 picks in the 2016 draft. The Ravens will likely take 3rd place and Harbaugh will begin to solidify a foundation that allows the Ravens to compete in this division. Hue Jackson will realize that Cleveland is one of the toughest places to win and the dog pound will suffer in Jackson’s first season but things will get better in time.

AFC South: The Texans acquired a whole lot of speed particularly at the wide receiver position and that will payoff for Houston. Brock Osweiler will end up getting the job done for the Texans, while Houston’s defense will be a top 5 defense in the league. The Colts will somehow overcome the young and talented Jaguars to clinch the second spot in the division. The Jaguars defense will end up letting them down in the regular season, on the other hand Andrew Luck will outperform expectations and elevate his football team. The Titans will close the gap on the other teams in the division but will still finish 4th when it’s all said and done.

AFC West: The Chiefs will take the next step under outstanding Head Coach Andy Reid. The Chiefs should be able to edge out the Broncos and win the division mainly because the Broncos are choosing to sit Paxton Lynch for development reasons. The Broncos defense will still be outstanding but they will miss having a true signal caller more than they realize. The Raiders off-season momentum won’t translate to immediate success on the football field similar to how the Jaguars aren’t going to pan out either. It takes time and consistency to be good in the NFL and the Raiders and Jaguars will both have to pay their dues for a few more years. Finally the Chargers will finish 4th in this division. The Charges will leave for Los Angeles at the end of the season and start a new era as a neighbor to the Rams. Lakers, Clippers, Rams, Chargers…

Charity of the day: Arbor Day Foundation

Go donate!   www.arborday.org

The Bears claw past the Browns for a 21-7 victory in week 4 of preseason action:

Photo credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Bears finished their preseason off with a 21-7 victory over the Browns and with the win the Bears were able to avoid an 0-4 preseason record. The Bears were able to put points on the board in every single quarter while the Browns only scored in the first quarter. Chicago’s defense came to play and linebacker Christian Jones led the charge recording 10 total tackles and 1.5 sacks. Jones played with great energy and his teammates really seemed to feed off the enthusiasm he brought to this game. Jacoby Glenn also added 4 tackles and an interception for the Bears defense. Glenn was the only player in game to have an interception and did a great job of getting a takeaway for his football team. For the Bears offense it was Brian Hoyer who stepped up and did the signal calling. The former Texans quarterback finished the day with 12 completions out of 16 passing attempts for the Bears. Hoyer didn’t throw a touchdown or an interception but did have a high completion percentage and did enough to get the Bears the win. In the running game Jordan Howard led all rushers with 107 yards and a touchdown. Howard played well for Chicago and showed so impressive moves while rushing past the century mark. Howard had a huge impact in the game considering he single handedly had more rushing yards than all of the Browns running backs combined. The one positive moment the Browns did have was when Isaiah Crowell was able to find the end zone for a Cleveland touchdown. There wasn’t really much going on for the Browns outside of that. Josh Gordon did have 3 receptions for the dog pound but he will now be sidelined the next 4 games while Cleveland tries to hit the ground running in the Hue Jackson era. Last night that didn’t go so well for the Browns but everything changes once the starters are on the field full time. Give credit to the Bears for getting the job done in this one though. Both teams were playing their 2nd and 3rd stringers but Chicago found a way to pull out all the stops and win the ball game.

Charity of the day: American Sexual Health Association

Go donate! www.ashasexualhealth.org

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Golden Tate: We’re tired of being the same old Lions

Photo credit: Mark Cunningham / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Detroit Lions have never won a Super Bowl but they have won a World Championship back in 1957. It’s has been a long time since the Lions have had that kind of success and most fans in the Detroit area are more familiar with the letdowns the Detroit Lions constantly seem to have. Golden Tate however isn’t having any of that and wants to set a new precedent set for the city of Detroit. Tate told the media “we’re tired of being the same old Lions” also stating the past has nothing to do with how well the team will do this year. While Tate’s optimism is respectable Lions fans have heard this spiel time and time again. Everybody in Detroit wants to believe what Tate is saying but will be reluctant to do so until the team yields some results on the field. Last year the Lions started off their season with an 0-5 record and almost seemed to be headed to their second 0-16 season. Luckily the front office made some changes, most noticeable dropping offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi for Jim Bob Cooter. As a result the Lions were able to put together a string of wins in the second half of the season. It’s hard to believe that the Lions made enough upgrades this off-season to be leaps and bounds better than they were a season ago, however you never truly know until regular season action begins. One things is for certain and that is the Lions need to protect quarterback Matt Stafford if the teams wants to have success. Stafford is extremely talented but takes a beating every season due to protection issues upfront. The Lions are at their best when Stafford has time to go through his progressions and find receivers downfield. On the opposite side of the ball the team needs to stop the run and get pressure on opposing quarterbacks. They can do that by throwing A’Shawn Robinson into the mix right away and letting him develop on the fly. Robinson can be a dominant force in this league and the Lions need this guy to step up and make some miracles happen. You have to respect Tate for trying to rally the troops but like mentioned above Lions fans will believe it when they see it.

Charity of the day: American Sexual Health Association

Go donate! www.ashasexualhealth.org

The Redskins and Buccaneers played in a nearly empty stadium with Tropical Storm Hermine approaching Florida:

Photo credit: Brian Blanco / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Tropicial Storm Hermine caused the NFL to move the Buccaneers and Redskins game to a day earlier to avoid any conflicts with the storm. Flash flooding, heavy rainfall, and strong winds are all expected to hit the Tampa area and because of that not many fans made the trip out to see the action. On the field Mack Brown led the way for the Redskins rushing for 149 yards and 1 touchdown on the night. Rob Kelly also added 99 yards to the Redskins rushing attack and that combined effort was really the story of the game in Washington’s victory. Both teams opted to use this last preseason game as a measuring tool for the bottom players on their roster. Meaning the game was made up of mainly 2nd and 3rd stringers but it was the Redskins who made the most out of the situation. Even Washington’s 3rd quarterback Nate Sudfeld had a good night throwing for 1 touchdown and no interceptions. Sudfeld didn’t turn the ball over and that along with the Redskins running game was enough to get the job done. Roberto Aguayo had a good night for the Buccaneers, he nailed both of his field goal attempts and seems to recovering after his early preseason struggles. That is good news for the Bucs considering they drafted Aguayo with a 2nd round draft pick in the 2016 Draft. Definitely a bold strategy but the Bucs are hoping to get a guaranteed 3 points out of Aguayo when they’re in kicking range. Quarterback Ryan Griffin threw for 190 yards 1 touchdown and 1 interception for Tampa Bay. He struggled at times but truthfully he was asked to do too much when he was asked to throw 38 times. These prospect players don’t have as much continuity together as the starters normally would and the Redskins had a smarter philosophy in this game choosing to run the football. Tampa Bay had 21 total rushing attempts compared to the Redskins 37 rushing attempts so that was really the tale of the tape. The Redskins chose to play fundamental football and that is why they were rewarded with the win when it was all said and done. Redskins win 20-13 in West Florida.

Charity of the day: ActionAid USA

Go donate! www.actionaidusa.org

How many times has the NFL unnecessarily given itself a black eye?

Photo credit: Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

With news coming out today that the NFL will clear James Harrison, Julius Peppers, and Clay Matthews in the Al Jazeera accusations. One has to wonder how many times the NFL is going to create problems for themselves by not handling their problems in-house. After going through the Deflategate saga which loomed over the NFL for far longer than it should have. Football fans now had to suffer from the Al Jazeera allegations that hung over some of the league’s most prominent stars. While there is no doubt that the league had to get to the bottom of the allegations the problem lies in the fact that they were submitted by source that seems to be lacking credibility. Even the accuser’s name (Charlie Sly) seems to be lacking merit and when a random person like this is able to put this much pressure on NFL players without any substance there is an underlying problem that needs to be addressed. First and foremost the NFL needs to protect the players personal reputations and not hang them out to dry. All of this could of been done by handling the problem and not giving the media anything to write about, talk about, or cover. The same exact way the Deflategate issue should of been handled and certainly the way the other professional organizations are handling their problems. Have you noticed that the NFL is continuously having public relation nightmares that are almost caused by their poor handling of the issues at hand? That poor handling then causes negative consequences for the league and actually deters some potential fans from the league’s product. Being an avid football fan myself it’s completely frustrating and there has to be a better way to handle these things when a conflict arises. The continuous pattern of dropping the ball has to fall on Commissioner Goodell and it’s about time we move on from the power hungry, and hypocritical commissioner. The league deserves someone who understands they’re not perfect and have flaws of their own. That humility would greatly benefit the league and Goodell will clearly never be that guy. Why does he care though? It was the players who had to suffer all the backlash and consequences in this case not him.

Charity of the day: ActionAid USA

Go donate! www.actionaidusa.org

Doug Pederson has the Eagles sitting at 3-0 on preseason:

Photo credit: George Gojkovich / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

For the second straight year the Philadelphia Eagles have started the preseason off with a 3-0 record. The only difference is last year the Eagles were led by Chip Kelly while now they are led by new Head Coach Doug Pederson. It might be too early to understand what Pederson’s philosophies are on the football field but keep in mind there are some indicators of what is making the Eagles successful. So far in the preseason the Eagles are 6th in the league in scoring and that ability to put points on the board has certainly benefited this football team. That was Philadelphia’s most noticeable offensive ranking but it’s the defense that might be even more responsible for the Eagles success. Under Pederson Philadelphia is ranked 1st in league with the least points allowed and they are ranked 1st in the league with the least rushing yards allowed. When you have a defensive that is ranked first in the league in 2 categories that means you’re suffocating opposing offenses and making life much easier on your team as a whole. If the success this team is having in the preseason can translate over to the regular season, then there is no doubt they will be a dangerous team and a serious challenger in the NFC East. Maybe it’s early to assume any of that will happen because it’s only the preseason but it’s at least safe to say that the Eagles have some depth on their team. To be 6-1 in your last 7 preseason games says that you’re talented from your 23rd roster spot all the way down to your 53rd roster spot. However Philly fans would be much more satisfied seeing their starting 22 players come out and have success when the season rolls around. If Pederson can keep getting his players to buy into what he selling there is no telling how far this team can go. So far all the players in Philadelphia seem to be doing so and that is a good sign for Pederson. He seems Andy Reid esque and the fans of Philadelphia have to remember that era pretty well consider Coach Reid coached the Eagles for 14 seasons. Maybe getting back to that style of play is just what Philadelphia needs after the Chip Kelly era.

Charity of the day: Population Council

Go donate! www.popcouncil.org

The Vikings playoff hopes hang on Teddy Bridewater’s health:

Photo credit: Otto Greule Jr. / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Scary news came out of Minnesota today when Vikings starting quarterback Teddy Bridgewater fell to the ground during practice and began to clutch his knee. Bridgewater was immediately taken by an ambulance to the local hospital and players on the Vikings offense were seen cursing and throwing their helmets. The other players were frustrated that Bridgewater went down because they know he is their best shot at winning a Super Bowl. Something that was very possible with Teddy Bridgwater in the mix but not so much now that Shaun Hill will be leading the charge. The Minnesota Vikings have made tremendous strides under Head Coach Mike Zimmer and truthfully this team should of beat the Seattle Seahawks last year in their playoff match up. After a good off-season the Vikings were looking like an even better team this upcoming season and that was mainly because of Bridgewater’s progression. He looked really good in the Vikings preseason games showing poise and executing that offense fluently. When you add in this team also added players like Laquon Treadwell and Andre Smith to their roster. You can see how they were poised to take the next step and really be an outstanding football team. If Bridgewater is lost for the entire season that means the Packers will have the best shot at winning the NFC North. That is how important having your starting quarterback on the field is and you just hate to see a situation like this happen. Minnesota has went through so many practices and organized team activities trying to stay healthy and now this happens. It’s just a very tough situation and keep Teddy Bridgewater in your prayers. He is a good guy and he works hard to hone his craft. Hopefully this is just a minor setback and he will be able to comeback at some point during the season. If it’s something along the lines of an ACL tear Bridgewater will almost surely be lost for the entire year, just a tough break Teddy Bridgewater.

Charity of the day: Population Council

Go donate! www.popcouncil.org

In a strange twist the Denver Broncos select Trevor Siemian as their starting QB:

Photo credit: Steve Nehf / Denver Post

Author: Jon Kuzma

Just like that Mark Sanchez is on the trade block and out of the running for the starting quarterback job of the Denver Broncos. While it was expected that Paxton Lynch would eventually replace Sanchez as the team’s starter, it now appears that Trevor Siemian will be the guy that Lynch eventually replaces. Truthfully it felt like Lynch would be the day 1 starter once the regular season got here but it seems the Broncos want to slowly ease Lynch into that starting gig. That way there isn’t too much pressure on Lynch to perform right away and it allows the rookie QB to develop himself a little bit more. Siemian on the other hand now finds himself leading last year’s Super Bowl Champions into a new year with the hopes of keeping this team at an elite level. Siemian was drafted in the 7th round of the 2015 Draft so he kind of has that Tom Brady thing going for him being a late round draft pick. The Broncos are hoping he can hold this team over until Lynch is ready to take the helm but keep in mind Gary Kubiak chose Siemian over Sanchez due to his careful protection of the football. Siemian didn’t throw nearly as many interceptions during the off-season work outs as Sanchez and it became clear he was better suited to lead this team. Siemian stated he learned a lot from watching Peyton Manning prepare and said that will be a huge factor in his own success. Manning was known for his six days of preparation and then game day approach, so that extra focused mindset is something Siemain has bought into himself. With the Broncos tremendous running game still intact Denver is hoping they can rely on C.J Anderson and Ronnie Hillman to carry this team while Siemian can add a few plays through the air. That should be very possible but keep in mind Lynch will be ready to go sooner than later and Siemian can use this opportunity to raise his value in the National Football League. Certainly a golden opportunity for the second year quarterback and keep an eye on how he handles his new role.

Charity of the day: American Liver Foundation

Go donate! www.liverfoundation.org

 

What Colin Kaepernick did was completely ungrateful to a country that blessed him with so much opportunity:

Photo credit: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images Sport

Author: Jon Kuzma

Colin Kaepernick recently decided that he wasn’t going to stand for the National Anthem in support of all the oppressed African-Americans in this country. While Kaepernick is entitled to exercise his first amendment rights just like any other American, it’s hard to agree with the method that he is using. Believe it or not Kaepernick is right when he says the oppression against black people and people of color should end. That part of his message is something that is honorable and just. However to not stand for a country that has blessed him with so much opportunity is a mistake on Kaepernick’s behalf. Right now 40% of Africa suffers from hunger and won’t be able to regularly obtain sufficient food. Right now 738 million people in the world lack access to clean water. Even in not so far away Cuba, people live on 26$ a month. So for Colin Kaepernick to turn his back on the flag and our country which has rewarded him with an annual salary of around $19 million dollars ( $1.58 million a month) is absurd. Kaepernick has the right to speak out against the social problems in this country but to turn your back on the flag means so much more than just one individual social stance. Think about the people of Syria right now who truly want peace but are in constant fear of their own safety. The same safety that Colin Kaepernick gets every day he is aloud to freely live his life in the greatest country on earth. Truthfully it doesn’t even feel like conviction is the true reason Kaepernick isn’t standing for the anthem. It feels more like football can’t keep Kaepernick in the spotlight anymore so now he needs something else to keep him popular. He lost the 49ers starting job and he is now becoming a distraction for this football team without producing. When you become a distraction and you don’t produce teams typically move on from that player. So don’t expect Kaepernick to be on the 49ers roster for very long and it’s hard to respect a guy like this. Colin Kaepernick doesn’t know how good he has it in this country.

Charity of the day: American Liver Foundation

Go donate! www.liverfoundation.org

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