Jameis Winston returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and that’s resulted in less offensive output. Dirk Koetter thought Winston could take this team to new heights but that hasn’t been the case:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are learning the hard way that Jameis Winston isn’t going to give them a huge boost. Winston returned from his three game suspension and looked lackluster against the Chicago Bears. It almost feels like Dirk Koetter is giving Winston a chance so everyone can see him fail which would give Tampa Bay a good reason to go back to Ryan Fitzpatrick. The problem is the Buccaneers should’ve never gave Winston his job back in the first place. The rhythm and timing which passing offenses are based off of is behind schedule because of Winston’s lack of practice reps. Not only that but it sets a bad precedent when you bench a player who is solely responsible for your success (Fitzpatrick). Eventually the fans in West Florida are going demand that Ryan Fitzpatrick is their starting quarterback and they also might demand that Koetter is fired. How can you stick with a coach that’s made such a poor decision? Winston is super talented but there’s no doubt Fitzpatrick would’ve put up more than 10 points against the Bears. DeSean Jackson was even public about who the starting QB should be (he supports Fitzpatrick) and that should’ve been something that the coaching staff picks up on. How many games can this franchise squander before realizing they’ve made a foolish mistake? Ultimately that’s going to cost Koetter his job and this was a tough one to botch. It was so obvious that Winston wasn’t going to match the play that the Buccaneers offense had through the first two games. Unless this team makes a serious run there’s going to be some big changes in the future. Whether that’s Jameis Winston being released or Koetter being let go who knows? The bottom line is the Bucs decision makers haven’t done a good enough job and they should be held accountable.

Charity of the day: PKD Foundation

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Jameis Winston was supposed to take the Buccaneers to new heights but that hasn’t been the case.

The New York Giants are wasting their time with the core group of players they have right now. Major changes are needed:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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It’s time to break up the band. Odell Beckham Jr., Eli Manning, and the rest of the players on New York’s roster have to go. If the Giants are going to tank they mine as well load up on draft picks in hopes of building a brighter future. Beckham Jr. has basically told the world he isn’t happy in New York anymore but more importantly than that he’s the one with the most trade value. Dave Gettleman should start this rebuild by dealing his top wide receiver and there’s no room for error on that move. The best outcome for the Giants would be two early draft picks (a 1st and 2nd rounder?). One of those will be used to draft the quarterback of the future and the other should go towards improving the defensive line. Gettleman isn’t a fool he knows he must get back to the basics and build this team from the ground up. The more difficult decision will be what do you do with Eli Manning? Manning is old and New York won’t get much value in return for him. The ideal option would probably be asking him to be the offensive coordinator or quarterback coach but there’s no way he’ll go for that. So the best chance of moving him would be by adding him in a package deal with a group of other players. If that doesn’t work out the Giants might have to bite the bullet and exchange Manning for a 6th or 7th rounder. There’s always the possibility that Eli Manning would retire if the Giants even tried to pull a maneuver like that. Either way this is his last season with Big Blue and he’s had a great career. Now is the time for a fresh start though and that means making some tough decisions. On the defensive side of the ball this organization can save around $25M annually by getting rid of Damon Harrison, Janoris Jenkins, and Olivier Vernon. All three of those defenders are under contract until 2020 and that’s a lot of money that can come off the books. New York’s fan base deserves to have little bit hope on the horizon and you achieve that by building a nucleus of young talent. There’s no sense in winning five games this season with all of these so called “key pieces” when that time could be spent on acquiring draft capital to start the next great run. Everyone in the five boroughs would prefer to go that route even it does mean being in uncharted territory.

Charity of the day: PKD Foundation

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New York has to stop wasting their time and break their team up. The sooner they start their rebuild the better.

When Baker Mayfield throws the football it’s lights, camera, action. The Browns are making huge strides with the rookie quarterback at the helm:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Baker Mayfield got his first win as a starting quarterback over the Baltimore Ravens and the rookie QB also outdueled Joe Flacco. After witnessing Mayfield come in for relief of Tyrod Taylor to beat the Jets and now seeing the first overall pick knock of the Ravens. It’s becoming apparent that Mayfield isn’t looking to just survive as an NFL starter. He already wants to be one of the best players in the entire league. Cleveland’s waited a long time to find their franchise quarterback but there’s no doubt the former Heisman winner is going to be a success. There’s just something special about watching the 23 year old throw the football. It comes natural for Mayfield and his accuracy is truly remarkable. Even Flacco had his hands full trying to keep up with the Browns signal caller. That situation should’ve been the other way around but when things were finished Cleveland came out on top and Mayfield had a better day. With 342 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception it’s obvious those numbers are far beyond what most rookies are going to put up. Flacco had 298 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception proving that he must play better the next time these two teams meet. The Browns are trending in the right direction and they’re starting to gain a little ground in the AFC North. That division is tighter than it’s ever been and any team can end up coming out on top. Truthfully though if Baker Mayfield continues to evolve during these next 11 games it’s very possible this ball club surprises some folks and exceeds expectations. Mayfield is a winner and if he’s on Cleveland will have a shot at knocking off some of the upper echelon teams. That what happens when you have a charismatic leader under center and he’s already one of the most gifted passers in the sport.

Charity of the day: Pathfinder International

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When Baker Mayfield throws the football it’s lights, camera, action. The rookie has a fluent release and precise accuracy.

Drew Brees caps off a historic night by becoming the NFL’s all time passing leader. The Saints also beat the Redskins 43-19 in what would go on to be a memorable event for the city of New Orleans:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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To do it in his own stadium had to be a special feeling. Most Saints fans knew Drew Brees was getting close to becoming the NFL’s all time passing leader and Brees achieved that feat at the Superdome right in front of his home crowd. It was a special moment not only for Brees but also for the entire city of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina the state of Louisiana was defeated and desperate for a hero. Drew Brees grabbed the torch for the Big Easy and never once looked back. The future Hall of Famer won a Super Bowl for the Saints fan base in 2010 and achieved a ton of other milestones along the way. However last night was really special because it solidifies Brees as the most decorated passer in NFL history. No other quarterback has thrown for 5,000 yards in a season more than one time. Drew Brees made 5,000 yards look easy he hit that mark five times during his career. Those performances allowed Brees to pass Brett Favre and Peyton Manning for perhaps the most impressive individual accomplishment in pro football. To be able to share that moment with a city Brees has been so loyal too is something that will go down as one of the greatest moments in all of sports. The game itself also went the Saints way. They steamrolled the Redskins in a 43-19 victory. Mark Ingram returned from a suspension and ran for 53 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tre’Quan Smith had big night as well he hauled in 111 yards and 2 TD catches. Alex Smith struggled for Washington throwing for 275 yards, 0 touchdowns, and 1 interception. Smith did score on a rushing touchdown but outside of that there wasn’t a lot of happening for the Redskins. Ryan Kerrigan was the top defender for the losing team. Kerrigan had 3 tackles and 1 sack. Da’Ron Payne was the other standout for Jay Gruden’s defense. Payne finished the night with 4 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. Justin Hardee had a great game for New Orleans. Hardee recorded 4 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 interception. Cameron Jordan also put up 2 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 TFLs. Brees didn’t do too bad either. After breaking the passing record he threw for 363 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. At this rate the 39 year old signal caller could play for another five years.

Charity of the day: Pathfinder International

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Drew Brees caps off a historic night by becoming the most decorated passer of all time. No one in NFL history has more passing yards than Brees.

Everyone is starting to acknowledge how much of a workhorse Todd Gurley is for the Rams offense. Gurley’s three touchdowns were enough to lead Los Angeles to a 33-31 victory over Seattle:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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To say Todd Gurley is having a great season would be a complete understatement. The Rams prolific running back has rushed for 415 yards and 7 touchdowns for Sean McVay’s offensive unit. Make no mistake about it Gurley is the focal point of the Rams attack and no one has an impact like this guy does. Jared Goff and the receivers are very talented too but Gurley allows every other phase of LAs system to flow freely. By running the ball effectively that sets up the play action pass and it makes opposing defenses sell out to stop the ground game. That creates coverage problems for teams and Jared Goff takes advantage of those open windows. If you take Gurley out of this situation though then everything else would start to regress. There’s no doubt he’s the x-factor for this squad and it seems like every week he’s putting up big numbers. Gurley has also hauled in 2 touchdowns and over 200 yards through the air so this guy is the total package and he really took it to the Seahawks (3 touchdowns and 77 yards). Seattle had no answer for Todd Gurley defensively and that’s why they let this win slip away. Pete Carroll’s ball club was actually ahead through the first three quarters but they unraveled down the stretch. Russell Wilson threw for 198 yards, 3 touchdowns, and no interceptions. Showing he can still make some nice throws for that offense. Chris Carson rushed for over 100 yards (116) and Tyler Lockett had 98 receiving yards plus 1 TD catch. For the Rams the key players were Jared Goff who had 321 yards, 1 touchdown, and 2 interceptions. Cooper Kupp also had 90 yards and 1 receiving touchdown. The top defenders were Frank Clark and Bradley McDougald for the Seahawks. Clark finished the day with 2 tackles, 1 TFL, and 1 interception. McDougald was stellar with 10 combined tackles. It should come as no surprise that Ndamukong Suh and Aaron Donald led the way for LA. Suh went for 7 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. Donald brought a lot of pressure too he tallied up 2 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. This was a shaky win for Los Angeles but they’re now 5-0. Gurley and the offense are responsible for this outcome and that group has averaged 34.6 points per game. Winning is much easier when you visit the end zone so frequently.

Charity of the day: RedRover

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Everyone is starting to acknowledge the greatness of Todd Gurley.

Kirk Cousins is the reason the Vikings are a better team than the Eagles. Cousins was the biggest change to Minnesota’s roster and that’s why they were able to beat Philadelphia 23-21:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Philadelphia Eagles absolutely destroyed the Minnesota Vikings in the NFC Championship game last season 38-7 but boy what a difference a year makes. The Vikings had one of the most notable free agent acquisitions in quarterback Kirk Cousins. That helped Mike Zimmer’s team take the next step offensively and it also looks like Minnesota has surpassed the defending champs. While this game isn’t a huge reflection of how much better the Vikings are because they only scored 23 points. There’s no doubt Cousins adds a whole other dynamic to this NFC rivalry and if you read between the lines that played a bigger role than what meets the eye. Cousins checks off a lot of the boxes when you’re looking for the perfect NFL quarterback. Kirk Cousins threw for 301 yards, 1 touchdown, and no interceptions. The two things that stand out are the 300 yards of offense and the 0 interceptions. Those are two major improvements for this organization’s output and Case Keenum failed to crack 300 and turned the ball over twice in that last match up between both these teams. Cousins also brings out the best in Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs which has been apparent over these past 5 weeks. Thielen recorded 116 yards and 1 touchdown. Diggs had 10 receptions for 91 yards. If there’s any achilles heel for Minnesota it’s definitely their lack of a running game. However Cousins made up for any deficiencies and that’s what a franchise quarterback brings to the table. Carson Wentz tried to his best to rally Philadelphia by throwing for 311 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions but they didn’t have enough time to capture the lead. Zach Ertz was also a standout for the Eagles he hauled in 110 yards and 1 touchdown. Wendell Smallwood caught the other Wentz TD and added 44 receiving yards. Minnesota held on at the end though and it was an impressive victory. The other big story line in this game was definitely the Vikings defense. They kept Philly in check especially throughout the first half. Linval Joseph had the best game of his career putting up 5 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, and scoring a huge defensive touchdown along the way. Danielle Hunter was also very tough he registered 2 tackles, 1 sack, and 1 TFL. Doug Pederson’s defense were led by Brandon Graham who had 3 tackles, 1 sack, and 2 TFLs. Jordan Hicks was also a significant contributor with 9 tackles. Minnesota improves to a 2-2-1 record and they’re hoping to smooth out the kinks moving forward. Make no mistake about it though this was a great win for everyone in that locker room and now they believe they can beat Philadelphia if they see them again in the playoffs.

Charity of the day: RedRover

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Kirk Cousins makes the Minnesota Vikings a better team than the Philadelphia Eagles. Which means things are changing in the NFC power rankings.

The Raiders have the 2nd ranked offense and four first round picks in the next two drafts to improve their defense. It’s becoming obvious that Oakland is in better shape than people realize:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Raiders had an absolutely awful start to the 2018 season by going 0-3 before finally beating the Cleveland Browns. The media was starting to turn against Jon Gruden during that time span because of the Khalil Mach trade. However there’s a few indications that Oakland might be turning the corner. The most obvious has been the fact that the Raiders have the 2nd ranked offense in the entire NFL (441 yards per game). Only the Los Angeles Rams are better and that’s this franchise’s new identity under Gruden who happens to be an offensive mastermind. Even though the silver and black are two games below .500 they at least know where they have to improve at. By loading up on defense this off-season Oakland can get back to being a winning football team. They’ll also have four first round picks in the next two drafts so it’s only a matter of time before they have some serious talent on that side of the ball. It also feels like Gruden’s ball club will continue to improve throughout these next 12 contests. The negative morale from the Mack trade is starting to blow over and now the guys in that locker room just want to compete. You can almost guarantee that the Raiders will be in several more shootouts or high scoring games along the way. The truth is this front office knew that when they traded their top defender away and the public’s outrage won’t last for much longer. Jon Gruden is going to end up fixing the Raiders and give the fans a much better product on the field. Everyone will look back and think about how much the Mack trade ended up being a good deal for Oakland. Things are definitely looking bright and the black hole will begin to realize that shortly. Until then at least they get to watch Gruden’s offense light up the scoreboard.

Charity of the day: National Kidney Foundation

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It’s becoming obvious that the Oakland Raiders are heading in the right direction. Even if their record doesn’t indicate that yet.

The Jaguars are right where they need to be but a win over the Chiefs would really uplift their confidence. Blake Bortles needs to prove his worth in that match up:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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One of the biggest in game battles to watch out for this weekend will be the Jaguars defense against Patrick Mahomes. Mahomes has been the leading candidate in the MVP race up to this point and Jacksonville has the best defense in the league. While those two sides are heading for a collision course the other key factor in this game will be what does Blake Bortles do? We’ve been having this same question over and over again but this is a real test for the former 1st round selection (Bortles). Patrick Mahomes has the potential to put on a show for the Chiefs and if Bortles struggles then fans are going to see how much of gap there is between both players. Therefore Blake Bortles needs to rise to the occasion and prove he can be the guy he was last year in the playoffs. To make matters even worse Leonard Fournette will be out of the lineup with a hamstring injury and that means the passing game is even more crucial. Dede Westbrook, Keelan Cole, and Donte Moncrief will have to make plays when Bortles comes their way. Kansas City’s defense is one of the worst groups in the entire league and there’s any opportunity there to produce at least 30 points. If Bortles can get to that magic number the Jaguars are going to win this game. Really that’s going to be the bar for the Jaguars offense for the rest of the season. Obviously not having Fournette hurts those efforts but T.J Yeldon his stepped up in his absence. However Bortles has only thrown for 7 touchdowns in 4 contests and when you only average 1.75 TD passes per games that’s not enough. Mahomes on the other hand averages 3.5 touchdowns per game (14 TDs in 4 games). Which proves Bortles is still somewhat of a weak point and he’s got to shed that label in big moments like the game this weekend against the Chiefs. His reputation and future with Jacksonville could depend on it.

Charity of the day: National Kidney Foundation

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The Jaguars are right where they need to be. Their 3-1 with a chance to take down the undefeated Kansas City Chiefs.

Aaron Rodgers has the perfect opportunity to uplift the Packers into an NFC playoff contender. Green Bay can’t afford to stumble against any doormat teams though:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Things have went fairly well for the Green Bay Packers over their first four games. Aaron Rodgers and company have improved to a 2-1-1 record and that’s set them up well for at least the next two weeks. Green Bay will take on the Lions and then the 49ers over those couple of games. Obviously those are both winnable match ups and that’s a real opportunity to get to 4-1-1. When a team has a start like that everyone starts to believe in the direction the organization is heading. Good morale always results in motivated players and that’s when the Packers will be a their best. The defense is one of the key reasons Green Bay has got back on track after a losing season in 2017. Most of the talent is on that side of the ball and they’re ranked in the top 10 in a couple of key categories (6th in yards surrendered and 7th in pass defense). Of course Aaron Rodgers has been his typical self but he’s got the job done in a different way this season. Rodgers has thrown for 1,130 yards and 7 touchdowns but the biggest thing he’s done is only thrown 1 interception. The 2x MVP knows if he eliminates turnovers he will have a serious shot at winning because the defense can get stops if opposing offenses have to go the whole field to score. So by being more conservative Rodgers is actually helping his team avoid any disasters. It’s also crucial that the highest paid player in the NFL (Rodgers) elevates his play the rest of the way and avoids stumbling in any trap games. The Packers have several opponents that fit that mold including the Jets, Cardinals, and Seahawks. After Green Bay handles business against those second-rate teams they have to at least steal a game or two away from the Rams, Patriots, or Vikings. There’s no easy wins in the NFL but we know which teams tend to struggle. A lot them seem to be on the Packers schedule and they have to like where they’re sitting at the moment because the league gave them an easy path.

Charity of the day: National Park Trust

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Aaron Rodgers has the perfect opportunity to get Green Bay back to the postseason. It’s still early but their schedule is very favorable.

Nick Chubb earned a bigger role by running all over the Oakland Raiders. Cleveland’s rookie running back is showing he can be a dangerous weapon:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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When the Browns drafted Nick Chubb in the 2nd round of the 2018 NFL Draft the idea was clearly solidifying the offensive backfield. Cleveland had just signed Carlos Hyde the month prior but John Dorsey wanted to make sure his team was able to run the football effectively. So far that combination has done very well and Chubb in particular was outstanding against the Oakland Raiders. Chubb rushed for 105 yards and 2 touchdowns proving that he can provide a spark for the upstart Browns. What makes Nick Chubb such a good football player is definitely his strength. The former Georgia Bulldog bench pressed 29 reps of 225 lbs at the the NFL combine and he runs with a downhill mentality. Against Oakland Chubb also showed some good burst too because he scored on runs of 63 and 41 yards. The other thing which stands out about that performance was the fact that Nick Chubb put up those big numbers on only three carries. He also showed off the ability to break tackles and power his way through defenders. Hue Jackson ultimately realized that those skills were being wasted in such a small role and that’s why we can expect to see Chubb’s workload increase. If this guy can produce such great results off just three rushing attempts imagine what he’s able to do if the Browns give him 15-20 carries a game? Carlos Hyde is still on the roster so Jackson will have to divide up the touches between those two running backs but that’s the way things have to be. Nick Chubb has overachieved despite having limited reps and that means he’s earned a higher spot on the depth chart. That might come at Duke Johnson’s expense but players get promoted and demoted everyday in the NFL. It’s a competitive sport and people have to constantly prepare to be at their best.

Charity of the day: National Park Trust

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Nick Chubb showed a lot of promise against Oakland Raiders. Chubb ran for over 100 yards and 2 touchdowns.

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