Who will have a better season Sam Bradford or Nick Foles?

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Photo credit: Matthew Straubmuller

Author: Jon Kuzma

Here is tough question for the upcoming football season. Reflecting back on the Nick Foles for Sam Bradford trade who is going to walk away the real winner? With many people coming out and praising Foles it makes you wonder if Chip Kelly made the right move? However on the opposite end of the spectrum Chip Kelly’s system is a proven success. Sam Bradford hasn’t looked to shabby in it either, in preseason action he went 13 of 15 for 3 passing touchdowns in his limited time. Bradford was praised by Kelly for his accuracy, quick release, and sound decision making. That seems to be transitioning well into Kelly’s offense as Bradford has been excellent thus far. How long will that last though? The preseason game against the Raven’s Bradford looked timid on the field after Sugg’s hit him with a questionable hit at the time. Even though Bradford was actually caring out a fake and it was a clean hit, the play clearly rattled Bradford and it’s something to keep an eye on in the future. Can Bradford battle through the adversity and rally this team late in the playoffs when the pressure is on? Only time will tell. Back to Foles it feels like the Rams got their guy in this swap. Many around the Rams facility have been saying they believe in Nick Foles. He has also received some notable praise for his leadership and how he always commands the team. Also going the extra mile in terms of being a positive force in the locker room. The guy has NFL quarterback size standing 6 feet 6 inches tall, and it’s safe to say he overachieved in Philly going to a Pro Bowl in 2014. It’s clear Foles has big time potential and even though Sam Bradford is succeeding right now. At the end of the day it feels like Foles is the more promising NFL prospect. All that matters is who produces more this season however and only these two players can determine that outcome.

 

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Torrey Smith shows he is a true gentleman of the league:

Panthers at Ravens 9/28/14

Photo credit: Keith Allison

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Torrey Smith is an outstanding player on the football field. Did you know he is also an outstanding person in life as well? The former Baltimore Ravens receiver is a positive force in his day to day life. Often trying to brighten the lives of people around him and give back to his community. You can tell Smith has a strong sense of faith, and he is known for always interacting with people on Twitter and giving fans encouragement. One particular tweeter was anything but a fan however. Twitter user Dario Webb or “@DWebb15” as his Twitter handle confirms. Had one of the most disgusting comments in Twitter history towards Smith stating “And your brother is still dead”. For those who don’t know Smith’s brother was tragically killed in motor cycle accident during the 2012 season. The following night Smith would play in an NFL game and have an outstanding performance before breaking down and crying on the sidelines. The moment was one of the better moments in sports because Smith was going through so much pain of losing someone he loved. And to see him have success during a time that was so troubling for him, instantly made you a Torrey Smith fan. Dario Webb’s comments are symbolic for the world we live in today. A place where social media trolls can make nasty comments without much repercussion. Yet those comments didn’t break Torrey Smith’s spirit. He lived up to that great character he has always had and turned the cheek to @DWebb15. Showing us all how a responsible human being accepts being berated by an unknown internet voice. Most people today have had to deal with this issue at some point and can take a note from Smith’s approach. For those of you that can’t….

Feel free to send your hate tweets to @DWebb15. He truly deserves it.

*Note- Don’t physically hurt the guy though. Rise above that madness.

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Is the end in sight for Roger Goodell?

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Photo credit: Anthony Quintano

The NFL’s uncontrolled and unregulated power came to a seizing halt in some retrospects today. Judge Richard Berman has decided to overturn the NFL’s suspension of Tom Brady because the NFL apparently didn’t follow the collective bargaining agreement close enough. Instead the NFL and Goodell chose to go above the C.B.A and take power into their own hands. They did this by putting together the Wells Report which took into account many events that happened during the deflategate scandal but none of the facts were concrete enough to stick to Brady. This has been a continuous pattern for Goodell who has been the law of the land for the NFL ever since taking over the position. It’s not that Goodell is a particularly bad guy, it’s just that he seems to have an arrogance about him. The guy clearly wants to clean up the league which is a good thing, it’s just that he has zero tolerance for the people who help put him in power. The NFL trying to take down Tom Brady is the equivalent of the Los Angeles Lakers trying to take down Magic Johnson in the 90’s. You just don’t turn on the people who help elevate you like that, and that is exactly what Roger Goodell has made a living off. Turning on the people who helped make the league what it is. Ben Roethlisberger, Adrian Peterson, and Ray Rice were all examples of prolific players that had to face the wrath of Goodell. That is just some of the more marquee names as well. The list goes on much longer to lesser known players and incidents as well. The fact is Goodell has tried to maintain a squeaky clean image while at the same time throwing the NFL’s biggest stars under the bus. A recipe for disaster as those actions will clearly alienate people around the league. Goodell should take a page out of some of the other major league commissioners books and learn to coexist with players and people affiliated with the league. Instead he comes off like a guy who is dull and is socially inept. A bad sign for the NFL and it might be time for the league to turn the page. The brand is so big right now that a fresh new face might be able to catapult the league to new heights. How many people would be all for the move?

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After an AFC East shake-up, how will the Defending Champs fare in 2015?

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Photo credit: Keith Allison

Author: Joey Carr

For pretty much every year since the turn of the century the AFC East has been dominated by one team: the New England Patriots. With the exception of a couple of fluke years in the early 2000’s and the 2008 season that saw Matt Cassel take the helm, the Patriots have controlled the AFC East. This is no doubt due to the dynamic duo that is Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. Possibly the greatest coach-quarterback combo the NFL has even seen, Belichick and Brady almost effortlessly have their way with their division year in and year out. However, with some significant departures in the offseason for New England and the Deflategate suspension looming, are the stars aligning for the rest of the AFC East? Some massive revamps and key additions have a lot of people thinking: yes.

For starters, each team signed or traded for players that are arguably the best at their respected position. The Buffalo Bills traded for Lesean McCoy, possibly the best running back in the league over the past three years. Last year, Shady was only second to Demarco Murray in touches with 312 carries and third in yards with 1,319. However, they gave up Kiko Alonso, by far their best linebacker and a leader on the Bills scary defense. They also gained a head coach that appears in headlines more than most celebrities, Rex Ryan. The former Jets coach promises to deliver an exciting and “Super Bowl bound” season for the Bills Mafia. The Miami Dolphins attracted Ndamukong Suh, a force to be reckoned with along the defensive front. Suh, one of the best interior defensive lineman and one of the dirtiest players in the league, figures to add to an already formidable front seven that boasts Cameron Wake on the outside. Although, a questionable secondary and linebacker corps could prove costly for the Fins when the season begins. While also signing quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a 4 year $96 million dollar contract extension, the Dolphins look to be a threat to the Patriots for years to come. However, another turnover at the wide receiver position that saw the departure of Charles Clay (replaced with Jordan Cameron), Mike Wallace (replaced with Kenny Stills), and Brian Hartline (replaced with Devante Parker) might be enough to see a slump from Tannehill at the start of the season that could jeopardize their chance at a playoff spot. The New York Jets saw an offseason that lost Rex Ryan but gained a defensive genius in Todd Bowles, the former Arizona defensive coordinator. They also landed a few toys for Bowles to play with in the secondary, namely Darrelle Revis, Antonio Cromartie, and Buster Skrine. Reuniting Cromartie and Revis is huge not only for the Jets, but the fans as well. The past couple of seasons have been tumultuous for the Jets faithful and a revamped secondary and intimidating front seven, even without Sheldon Richardson, promises an improved season. Of course, there are problems with the quarterbacks in the AFC East, specifically with the Bills, Jets, and surprisingly the Patriots. The Bills have named 5-year vet Tyrod Taylor their starter, but he has yet to prove himself as a solid player. The Jets seemingly always have a problem at quarterback and now with Geno Smith out for at least 6 weeks due to a fractured jaw courtesy of his own teammate, Ryan Fitzpatrick looks to lead the Jets but uncertainty surrounds him, along with the entire Jets offense. And now, the Patriots; Tom Brady will eventually lead the defending champs but time will tell

when he will. Until then, Jimmy Garropolo gets thrust into the spotlight. After a decent 2014 season where he showed glimpses of talent, Patriots personnel feel like he will be the guy to eventually replace Tom Terrific. He has shown promise throughout this preseason but has also shown weaknesses. Depending on the Deflategate decision, the Patriots could start the season with a question mark at the quarterback position for the first time since the Belichick era began.

Time seems to be the tell all with the Patriots and the AFC East. When will Brady start for the Pats? Will the acquisitions made be enough to impact the Pats run at another title? Is this the year another AFC East team knocks off the champs? Only time will tell and answer these questions. However, one thing is certain: Buffalo, Miami, and New York are all gaining ground in the hunt to take down the winners of Super Bowl 49.

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Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall make up talented wide receiver duo:

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Photo credit: Jeffrey Beall

The New York Jets put together a talented receiving duo when they landed Brandon Marshall this past off-season. The Jets only had to give up a 5th round draft pick to acquire Marshall a very cheap price considering how productive Marshall has been in the past. They pair him next to Eric Decker who was acquired by the Jets a year earlier in free agency. In his one season with the Jets Decker has been serviceable contributing 5 touchdown receptions and 962 receiving yards to the Jets offense. With the addition of Marshall, quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick has two weapons that he can count on with the game on the line. In preseason action this have been very noticeable, the Jets are looking much better through the air. In fact Fitzpatrick was able to throw for 2 touchdowns against the Giants. One of those to Decker on a post route from the x receiver position. It’s clear that the Jets are looking to form a new identity under coach Todd Bowles. The team has moved on from Geno Smith as the starting quarterback and Fitzpatrick is clearly an upgrade at that position. The old Jets under Rex Ryan were a ground and pound team meaning they focused more on the run game. The Todd Bowles Jets have a little bit more finesse and much of that is do to the addition of Brandon Marshall. With everyone stating the NFL is a “passing league” now. The Jets made the right move by bringing in talented playmakers on the edges. Look for both of these players to see a spike in production but more so Marshall. After getting out of Chicago Marshall most likely will benefit from the fresh start. A new team and a brand new environment can reinvigorate a player and Marshall seemed to be getting burned out in Chicago. As the teams clear number 1 receiver he seems to have taking a liking to Fitzpatrick and is upbeat about football again. A recipe for success for the 10th year player out of Central Florida. Both players however will make up a large portion of the Jets offense and that is why they’re one of the best duo’s in the league.

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Andre Johnson will benefit from a change of scenery:

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Photo credit: Christopher Brown

The Indianapolis Colts got a heck of a free agent signing when they inked Andre Johnson to a 3 year 21 million dollar contract. The former Houston Texans receiver was exceptional during his time with the team contributing 7 seasons of at least 1,000 yards receiving. Now entering his 12th season Johnson will be catching passes from the best quarterback he has ever played with in Andrew Luck. The results have already been promising with Johnson catching a touchdown pass in the preseason against the Rams. What had to be most appealing for the Colts organization on that play was the fact that Andre Johnson was showing glimpses of what he used to be. Paired along with T.Y Hilton the Colts offense will be more dynamic than it has been in the past. They also added a proven veteran in Frank Gore, and return Deion Branch. All of these other offensive options will likely take pressure off Johnson and allow him to have an up year. Johnson had only three touchdown receptions last year and that number surely will go up this season. At the end of the day the new environment might be enough to help resurrect Johnsons career. He was clearly getting burned out mentally his final few season in Houston. This was evident by the fact at the end of his time there he asked to be released from the team a few different times. Maybe turning a new leaf might be what Johnson needed and from his body language it seems to be working. He might be someone to keep an eye on with a later round fantasy football draft pick. Any time you combine a 7 time Pro Bowl receiver with a top quarterback in the league good things are going to happen. The formula seems to be one that will pay dividends in the Colts future. Johnson will also reap the benefits.

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