Drew Brees has been putting together a heck of a year so far, the Saints quarterback has tossed 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Most people don’t realize this but Drew Brees is 3rd all time in passing yards behind Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. Brees has 67,246 passing yards compared to Peyton Manning’s 71,940 and Brett Favre’s 71,838. When you have amassed that much production over your career it’s obvious you have a very special gift and Brees is the definition of a gunslinger. Those characteristics are holding true this season as well and the 10x Pro Bowler has had a hot start in 2017 throwing for 8 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. The Saints currently have a 2-2 record so without Brees’ stellar play New Orleans would certainly be in trouble. Luckily though their veteran signal caller is still playing at a high level and you almost have to wonder when guys like Tom Brady and Drew Brees are going to slow down? Brady is 40 years old and Brees is 38, yet both players absolutely dominant in the twilight of their careers. It’s safe to say both quarterbacks could play for another five years and if that happens it’s very likely Brees will end up with more passing yards than any other quarterback to ever play the game. Essentially that means Drew Brees could end up being the greatest QB to ever strap on the pads. He might not have the championships Brady has but stats wise Brees is on the cusp of being better than anyone. While that is definitely something the 17 year pro is aiming for, right now Brees has his eyes on winning the NFC South and getting back to the playoffs. Another Super Bowl victory would look great on the Brees’ resume but either way this has been one of the greatest runs we’ve ever seen. In many ways Brees is like the Dan Marino of today’s era in the sense that both guys were just lights out statistically. Keep in mind though Drew Brees has hoisted a Vince Lombardi Trophy while Dan Marino never got to achieve that feat.

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Larry Fitzgerald’s excellence can’t be overstated, the Cardinals receiver is one of the best to ever play the game:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Arizona Cardinals have been a middle of the road team the last couple of seasons but the Cardinals definitely have a star in Larry Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald is a future Hall of Fame wide receiver and has recorded an impressive 106 touchdown receptions over his career. That production is keeping the Cardinals offense afloat and just last week Fitzgerald caught a game winning touchdown in the final minute against the San Francisco 49ers. With 14 seasons under his belt you would think that Fitzgerald would be slowing down, but that hasn’t been the case and it will be interesting to see if the veteran pass catcher decides to hang it up at the end of the year? Arizona will be desperate for wide receivers if Fitzgerald does decide to retire because he alone brings so much offensive output to the table. To make matters even worse for Arizona it looks like Carson Palmer could be done playing soon as well, so this team has to find a way to revamp their offense after these two players walk away from the sport. Fitzgerald will certainly be remembered for not only his amazing playmaking abilities but also for his outstanding character. Everyone around the league respects the man Larry Fitzgerald is and how he conducts himself on / off the field. When you also factor Fitzgerald is 8th all time in touchdown receptions and 8th all time in receiving yards you can begin to see just how prolific the 34 year old receiver has been. Not a lot of guys have been able to put together the body of work Larry Fitzgerald has and it’s really been a treat to watch this guy for so many years. This could be the last year number 11 suits up for the Cardinals so make sure you appreciate each game Fitzgerald plays. You never know if it will be all over when the season comes to an end.

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Jordy Nelson has 5 touchdown receptions this year after recording 14 TDs a season ago:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Jordy Nelson is off to a hot start this year recording 5 touchdown receptions over the first four games of the season. This is after Nelson recorded 14 touchdowns in 2016 and it’s safe to say the Packers have one of the most productive wide receivers in the league. Nelson is 32 years old and in his 9th season of pro football, he has been a staple of the Packers offense since joining the team back in 2008. When you actually plug in the film and watch Jordy Nelson play a few things stand out on tape. First and foremost is number 87 for Green Bay has exceptional hands and can bring in just about any football that is thrown in his direction. Not only that but Nelson is pretty exceptional at route running and his crisp patterns allow him to get separation on just about any defender. Those main attributes have helped Jordy Nelson haul in 68 touchdowns over the course of his career and lets be honest playing with Aaron Rodgers definitely helps the former Kansas State pass catcher. Rodgers has the highest quarterback  rating of all time (104.0) and Nelson has benefited greatly from playing with the future Hall of Famer. Together the tandem of Nelson and Rodgers have dissected NFL defenses for almost a decade. It just goes to show that the Packers are flat out lethal in the passing game and it’s a lot of fun to watch such a potent offense operate so fluently on game day. If you’re an opposing defensive back you know it’s going to be a long afternoon trying to limit Jordy Nelson’s offensive output. The best you can do is minimize Nelson’s production because it’s become overwhelming obvious that you can’t shut this guy down. He is just too gifted and his quarterback is pretty special as well.

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Patriots stop the Buccaneers on the final play of the game to win 19-14, Brady throws for over 300 yards:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The New England Patriots took on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in a defensive showdown and in the end it was the Patriots defense who were a little bit better. Bill Belichick’s team held the Buccaneers to only 14 points in this contest and that was a significant improvement over New England’s first four games of the season. Devin McCourty in particular was outstanding in the Patriots secondary recording a team high 11 tackles, while Kyle Van Noy chipped in 7 tackles and half a sack. That set up Tom Brady with plenty of offensive possessions and the veteran passer ended up throwing for 303 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception in the game. Brandin Cooks had the most yards for the Patriots offensive attack. Cooks finished with 85 yards for the night which was the most out of any running back or receiver. Danny Amendola played pretty well too hauling in 77 receiving yards but it was Chris Hogan who had the biggest impact recording 74 receiving yards and 1 touchdown. In a game in which both teams combined for 33 points that 1 touchdown by Hogan was enough for New England to get the job done and what an addition this guy has been since joining the team last season. Jameis Winston finished the match up with 334 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interruptions for the home team. Winston really came alive in the 4th quarter and actually led the Bucs down into the red zone with under one minute remaining in the game. Winston had one last attempt to score from the 19 yard line but his pass to OJ Howard came up incomplete. That was all she wrote for the Buccaneers but there were a few bright spots for this team. Doug Martin looked good in his return from suspension and rushed for 74 yards plus a touchdown. DeSean Jackson really lit it up as well hauling in 106 receiving yards for Tampa’s offense. Really this game was lost when Buccaneers Kicker Nick Folk missed three field goal attempts leaving 9 points off the board. If Tampa Bay gets a more competent kicker they will have a much better chance to compete moving forward. Give credit to the Patriots though they did enough to get a win on the road which is never easy to do in the NFL.

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Is there friction between Philip Rivers and the Chargers coaching staff? Things seem tense in Los Angeles:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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If you watched the last Los Angeles Chargers game at one point you noticed Philip Rivers walking off the field and nearly having a meltdown. Rivers threw his wristband off on the sideline and was visibly upset with how things are going with his team. If you’re not up to date with the NFL season you probably had no idea that LA is 0-4 on the year and has struggled to look competitive. Obviously that’s not the type of season that Rivers had in mind and the 35 year old quarterback has to be upset that the Chargers never got him the help he deserved. Philip Rivers has been consistently better than most QBs in the league and is undoubtedly an elite player. Yet Los Angeles’ front office has never put all of the pieces together to give their star signal caller a real chance to compete for championships. The best this football team has been was back when Ladainian Tomlinson was running the football for the Bolts. LT left what was then San Diego back in 2010 for the Jets, so this team has had seven years to put together something for Rivers and has failed to do so in that time. Anyone in Philip Rivers shoes would be frustrated and now he has a head coach in Anthony Lynn who looks completely overwhelmed in his first stint as the lead man at the helm. The continuous letdowns are clearly wearing thin on Rivers’ psyche and you have to wonder if the veteran would like to be traded? It almost feels like Philip Rivers would rather retire than play anywhere else but then again maybe a fresh start could reinvigorate the 14 year pro? One thing is definitely for certain and that’s the Chargers need to do everything they can to upgrade their roster talent wise if they are going to keep Rivers around for the long haul. This franchise needs to trade for some players or trade down in the draft to shake some things up.

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Malik Hooker has been the best defensive back in the National Football League over the first quarter of the season, it’s easy to forget that Hooker is still a rookie:

Photo credit: Icon Sportswire Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Indianapolis Colts took a gamble when they drafted Malik Hooker mainly because the former Ohio State safety had surgery on his shoulder (labrum) and his core to repair nagging injuries. Those health concerns scared plenty teams away from drafting the stand out defensive back but the Colts clearly made the right call when they selected Hooker with the 15th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. Even though Malik Hooker sat out the first game of the season, since then the rookie free safety has been able to intercept 3 passes this year. That’s tied for the most in the league with Micah Hyde and it just goes to show how good Hooker’s ball hawk skills are. Every single game Hooker has suited up for he has came away with pick and you don’t consistently make those kind of plays unless you’re exceptional at reading the quarterback. Hooker can sit back in his deep zone and read opposing QB’s eyes which tells him exactly where the football is going. After Malik Hook identifies and diagnoses a play he then uses his game changing athleticism to close in on the football. That’s where the free safety’s hands come into play and we know Hooker has pretty good catching ability because he always seems to finish the play with a takeaway. By creating turnovers for the Colts defense Malik Hooker is doing everything he possibly can to keep his team competitive. Those skills will suit the Colts well moving forward into the season and it’s safe to say Indianapolis isn’t in the market for a free safety anymore. Instead Chuck Pagano’s team should focus on the other 21 positions on the field and make as many upgrades as possible. Andrew Luck is supposed to come back from an injury shortly so that should give this team a boost. Regardless though the Colts are getting plenty of big plays out of their rookie safety and Malik Hooker has a very bright future in the NFL.

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Marshawn Lynch has struggled to get it going over the first four weeks of action, the Raiders have given Lynch less than 10 carries in the last two games:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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Many wondered how Marshawn Lynch would respond to spending an entire year away from pro football and we know now Lynch has looked a little rusty. Lynch has compiled 151 rushing yards and 1 touchdown over his first four games averaging a lousy 3.4 yards per carry. Now to be fair to Lynch Oakland has went away from their starting running back the last couple of games giving him less than 10 carries per game in the last two contests. In week 1 when the Raiders gave Lynch 18 carries he was much more effective putting up 76 yards and averaging 4.2 yards per carry. So it’s obvious that Lynch gets better with the more touches he receives and with Derek Carr out of the line up Marshawn Lynch should have a much bigger work load. E.J Manuel didn’t look that bad in relief of Carr last game but Jack Del Rio’s team should trust the ground game as the number one option moving forward. It’s just a safer bet to put the ball in Lynch’s hands than E.J Manuel’s at this point. Between Lynch and Jalen Richard the Raiders have two ball carriers who can make some magic happen run wise. Richard has averaged 6.1 yards per carry on the year so if he keeps playing as well as he has Lynch could actually lose rushing attempts to the up and coming back. One thing is for sure with Derek Carr injured (back fracture) for the next two to six weeks, Oakland has to find away to stay afloat until their star quarterback is back on the field. This football team needs Marshawn Lynch and his Beast Mode persona more than ever and it will be interesting to see if a 31 year old Lynch can rise to the occasion? However if things stay the way they are right now we could see Lynch retired again before we know it.

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CJ Anderson is back on track after playing in only seven games last season, Anderson has 330 yards over the first four games:

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Sport Author: Jon Kuzma

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C.J Anderson missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing surgery on a torn meniscus but it looks like the Broncos running back has his groove back. Anderson has been a big reason why the Denver Broncos have started 3-1 this year and it’s because the 5th year player is a workhorse for this offense. With Trevor Siemian still progressing in his second year at the helm as the team’s starting quarterback, Anderson is doing his part in taking stress of Siemian. We know new Head Coach Vance Joseph is a defensive mastermind and a great running game is the perfect balance for Denver’s winning formula. Anderson has provided an ideal rushing attack for the Broncos and he is definitely the x-factor on the offensive side of the ball. If C.J Anderson didn’t get hurt last season there’s a great chance Denver would have been a playoff team. Now that Anderson’s knee is healthy expect this guy to be around the 1,000 yards rushing mark at the end of the year. C.J Anderson could come up shy of 1,000 yards because Jamaal Charles seems to be reinvigorated. These two guys together are a very dynamic tandem and they set the tone for the Broncos ground and pound philosophy. Believe it or not Anderson was undrafted back in 2013, so he has been the perfect example of how far someone can come with hard work and perseverance. At only 26 years old Anderson has plenty of good years left in front of him. So expect to see this guy in a Broncos uniform for the foreseeable future and John Elway will likely re-sign Anderson when his contract runs out in 2020. The California native has been that good during his time as a professional football player.

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Smith, Hunt, and Kelce help the Chiefs edge the Redskins late in the fourth quarter 29-20:

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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The Kansas City Chiefs were thoroughly tested by the Washington Redskins but in the end the Chiefs were able to pull out a 29-20 win. Alex Smith made some incredible throws for the Kansas City offense and when things were all said and done the Chiefs quarterback threw for 293 yards, 1 touchdown, and 0 interceptions for the night. Kareem Hunt also did his thing for the Chiefs, Hunt proved why he has been the best running back in the league so far with a 101 yard performance against a tough Redskins defense. In the passing game Travis Kelce had the most notable impact. Kelce hauled in 111 receiving yards and 1 touchdown catch. Together these three players have been the foundation for the Chiefs offense and what a year they are having. The losing team in this contest was led by Kirk Cousins. Cousins played pretty well with 220 yards, 2 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. As good as the Washington quarterback was the Redskins need to score more than 20 points in order to win these highly competitive match ups. Terrelle Pryor did give this team a boost with 70 yards and 1 receiving touchdown but not one Redskins player went over 100 yards rushing or receiving. Bennie Logan was pretty good defensively for the Chiefs the Kansas City nose tackle had 4 tackles on the night. Marcus Peters contributed 4 tackles and forced fumbled to KC’s defensive efforts too. On the other sideline the Redskins were led by Zach Brown who had a team high 9 tackles. DJ Swearinger put up 5 tackles and a sack as well. Give credit to the Chiefs for weathering the storm. This team was actually trailing the Redskins 10-0 heading into the second quarter. Andy Reid’s team is extremely resilient though and now Kansas City improves to an impressive 4-0 on the year. They’re a lot of fun to watch.

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The Mitchell Trubisky era will officially start in Chicago, can the rookie do enough to save the Bears season?

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Author: Jon Kuzma

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It’s no secret that Mitchell Trubisky is one of the most promising rookie quarterbacks this year and now Trubisky will finally get his chance to command the Bears offense full time. Chicago Head Coach John Fox officially gave the reins to the 2nd overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft and Trubisky takes over for a struggling Mike Glennon. It’s pretty obvious that Trubisky is a more gifted thrower than Glennon, particularly in the arm strength department. So that should help the Bears offense put up more big plays through the air and ultimately that’s going to make this team more competitive. Additionally Trubisky is physically stronger than Glennon which should result in the rookie being able to break more tackles and extending the play more often. All of those abilities are much more favorable than what Glennon brought to the table and now if you’re a Bears fan you really wish the team used that $45 million dollars on a more worthy player than their former starter (Glennon). That money could have been used on two or three offensive skill players to help Trubisky out but now it’s just wasted money down the drain. It also feels like Chicago decided to make the change after seeing everything DeShaun Watson has been able to accomplish down in Houston. It just goes to show that even though a guy is a rookie it doesn’t mean that player can’t have a big impact for his team. Trubisky truthfully should have been starting from day 1 however Fox’s conservative approach have led this team to a 1-3 record on the year. Obviously that won’t sit well with Bears ownership and now it’s really up to Mitchell Trubisky to save John Fox’s job. With 12 games left in the season anything is possible especially with a much better quarterback is at the helm. Keep in mind the quarterback position is the most important in pro football so this is significant upgrade for the Chicago Bears.

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