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NFL schedule: Quick hits from a wild NFL Sunday

Photo Credit: Al Bello/Getty Images

Author: Joey Carr

Odell Beckham Jr. Suspended 1 game for his Actions

Probably the most entertaining thing that occurred on Sunday was the near all-out brawl between Giants offensive star Odell Beckham and Panthers stud cornerback Josh Norman. There was a ton of hype surrounding this particular matchup leading up to Sunday’s game between Carolina and New York. Norman had made the star receivers of the league (Dez Bryant, Julio Jones, Desean Jackson to name a few) irrelevant in his previous games, but Beckham is a different type of monster. This was no doubt going to be an engaging matchup, but what ensued was nothing less than disturbing. In the first half, Norman held Beckham to no catches, but that wasn’t the biggest story; the two young stars were going at each other’s throats all half long, pushing each other violently and knocking each other down on almost every play, and the second half was no better. Beckham began to gain some yards and get under Norman’s skin, but his mindset hadn’t changed; in the fourth quarter, on a running play, the former LSU standout charged at Norman, put his head down, and rammed into the cornerback’s head. He was not ejected, if you can believe that, but was suspended 1 game by the NFL today. He is expected to appeal, but I can’t see any way that he wins that appeal. The Giants have a huge game against the Vikings next week, and without Beckham, their chances of winning go down dramatically, which would effectively eliminate them from playoff contention.

Seattle, Chiefs, and Steelers all Stay Hot, Remain in Playoff Contention

If you can somehow believe this, the Kansas City Chiefs were once 1-6. The Seattle Seahawks were 2-4. The Pittsburgh Steelers were starting Michael Vick and Landry Jones at one point in the season without Le’Veon Bell in the backfield. However, here they are all, right in the thick of the playoff hunt. Seattle has already clinched a spot in the NFC bracket, but the Chiefs and Steelers both need to win out and get some help from their AFC foes in order for them both play January football. However, what they’ve all done is pretty amazing, and one thing’s for sure: no team wants to play Seattle, Pitt, or KC come playoff time.

Injuries Continue to Plague the League

Is it me, or does it seem like injuries have been more rampant than ever this year? Before the season even started, ACL injuries were making their way to nearly every training camp. Kevin White, Jordy Nelson, Kelvin Benjamin, Orlando Scandrick, and Ryan Clady are just a few names that haven’t played a down in 2015 due to ACL injuries, and there are plenty more where they came from. Quarterbacks have been missing games more than ever (Big Ben, Andy Dalton Peyton Manning), and some teams, like the Patriots, have been decimated by the injury bug. For example: New England promoted running back Joey Iosefa from the practice squad for yesterday’s game. Iosefa is an undrafted rookie out of Hawaii who was cut by Tampa Bay because they felt he wasn’t good enough; but now, he’s racking up 51 yards in week 15 for the defending champs. Injuries have been the name of the game this season, and if it doesn’t end soon, we might be seeing an AFC South vs. NFC East Super Bowl this year (maybe not that extreme but you get my point).

Cam Newton has all but Shored Up the MVP Award

If I’m being perfectly honest, I do not like Cam Newton. I think he is a showoff and too cocky for his own britches that has some inflated stats; however, he is the MVP this season, hands down. Schedule and inflated stats (most of his touchdown passes are from 3 yards out) aside, Newton has played very well this year; he’s led the Panthers to an undefeated record and his offense is the best in the NFL, scoring over 30 points almost every game this season. Yesterday, he directed a perfectly executed 2-minute drill to set up the game winning field goal against New York after squandering a 28 point lead in the second half. Of course, Carolina hasn’t played the best teams this year (they’ve played 1…. Yes 1 team with a record of over .500) but Cam has done a good job of winning the games he’s supposed to win. It’ll be interesting to see how the Panthers play when they play a good Seattle team or a tough Arizona squad in the playoffs, where Carolina is not the best team; I’ll have my popcorn ready when it happens though.

The AFC South and the NFC East are Still Bad

Get this: the 5-9 Jacksonville Jaguars are still alive in the race for the AFC South crown. The 4-10 Dallas Cowboys were JUST NOW eliminated from the NFC East Title. Historically, these are two of the worst divisions in NFL history; we could possibly see a three way 7-9 tie in the NFC East, and who knows who’s going to walk away with the AFC South. The Houston Texans are currently in the lead after defeating the Colts yesterday, but we would be naïve to think that they’re going to hold onto it. Meanwhile in the NFC East, the Eagles, yes the Eagles, are in the best position to win the division, but only because they own the tiebreaker. They play the Redskins in the final game of the season, which could ultimately decide the division.

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Chiefs miss huge opportunity to elevate themselves:

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Photo credit: Jason Craven

Author: Jon Kuzma

The Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in a great position to beat the Denver Broncos last night in Thursday night football action. Only to squander that lead late on a fumble by Jamaal Charles, which led to a Broncos scoop and score. The Andy Reid era in Kansas City seems to be a promising one. The Chiefs were on the cusp of dethroning the Broncos from atop of the AFC West standing. Now the Chiefs instead find themselves sitting in third place with a 1-1 record. The win would of been a huge step forward for the Chiefs, but still you have to admit that the Chiefs are heading in the right direction. A couple plays here or there and they are the leader of the that division. Which is a huge testament of the moves the Chiefs front office have made. Manning would praise the Chiefs’ defense after the game stating that “There defense is much better than last year.” The improved stoutness of the defense is a result of retaining their star player in Justin Houston. Houston was able to record 22 sacks last year for the Chiefs, and is one of the marquee defensive players in the league. The other factor in improving this defense was another year of being Andy Reid’s system. His approach to the game on offense, defense, and special teams are what have this team back on the right track. While this is a set back along the way, there are many things they can take away from this and try to improve on. A couple tweaks here and there and good things could be coming for this franchise. It’s good to see the Chiefs back having some good things going for them. It all starts with Andy Reid and his approach.

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Charity of the day: Action on Smoking and Health 

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Eric Fisher is demoted by the Chiefs:

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Photo credit: Jason Craven

The 2013 1st overall draft pick taken in the first round Eric Fisher was demoted recently by the Kansas City Chiefs. Fisher who was the most promising prospect in the whole 2013 draft had sputtered out of the gate in his first 2 years of NFL action. After signing a 22.1 million dollar guaranteed contract with a 14.5 million dollar signing bonus Fisher seemed to underachieve time and time again for the Chiefs. The team was looking for a franchise cornerstone type left tackle when they drafted him. Instead they got a player who in just three seasons was demoted to the right tackle position. People in the Chiefs organization can’t be happy that they are paying an under producing player that much money. Also Fisher just doesn’t seem to fit into Andy Reid’s system. Reid even made Fisher switch positions last season and play right tackle instead of left as well. The Left Tackle position being more notable for an offense because it is typically protecting the backside or “blind side” of right handed NFL quarterbacks. The switch showed Reid’s lack of confidence in Eric Fisher’s ability to protect Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith. With more talent coming to Kansas City such as Jeremy Maclin, and Ben Grubbs the Chiefs wanted to have more cohesion offensively. This clearly meant that the former Central Michigan standout Eric Fisher had to be dropped from the starting left tackle position. With the NFL being a win now or you’re fired type of league, Reid’s success couldn’t be left in a player’s hands that he couldn’t trust. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Eric Fisher. Will he be eventually left go by the Chiefs? Or will the team just keep him as a right tackle for the remainder of his contract which runs until 2016? The other possibility could be that Fisher learns from this and makes the necessary adjustments to become an effective left tackle. Maybe someday he will be able to regain his starting spot. For the time being however, he will have to make do with the team’s other tackle position.

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Charity of the day: Defenders of Wildlife

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